by Texas Homesteader~
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The changing seasons are welcomed. But they’re not without their challenges for me.
Come see what these weather changes mean in our household. I’ll share a Day on the Homestead with you!
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The season is finally starting to change, y’all. The brutal grip of a hot, sticky Texas summer is beginning to soften. The temps are still hot & humid but with the promise of cooling in the next several days. And even some chances of rain!
Although I’m thrilled over cooler temperatures and lower humidity on the horizon, it also means the dreaded approach of ragweed. I’m allergic to ragweed pollen and every year it torments my face!
Drying Laundry Outside
If you’ve been a follower for long, you know we air dry our laundry during all seasons. But September marks a halt for several weeks in drying our laundry outside. My ragweed allergies are severe and I can’t risk bringing that pollen inside our home and next to my skin. (and EYES!)
So I’ve been monitoring the ragweed presence over the last several days. It’s beginning to pop into the pollen counts – low one day, then gone the next.
I know what that means. In a few days it’ll show again and then leapfrog in pollen count until it’s a massive daily pain in my… SINUSES… for the duration of ragweed season. (which for me is about mid to late October.)
So today my first order of business is to get the laundry done. The sheets are stripped and laundered first. Then I use freshly laundered wet jeans to anchor those sheets to the line to keep the stiff breezes from trying to rip them from the line!
Drying Clothes Inside
After today our laundry will sill be air dried. But we’ll be utilizing *folding racks to dry them inside instead.
Those racks are set up in our guest bedroom when needed and the ceiling fan is turned on to speed the drying. The door can be closed should unexpected company arrive.
It’s a pain, but at least it still allows me to still air-dry our clothing without the risk of my nemesis allergen tormenting me by way of my innocent-looking yet allergen-filled clean clothes.
Outside Chores In Cooler Morning Hours
After that first load was placed in the washer I let the chickens out of their confined coop and into their secured chicken run. I’ve topped off their water and checked their feeder while I’m there.
RancherMan’s off to check the cattle in various pastures. We have one that’s getting closer to her calving date. And he wants to keep an eye on the grass to make sure they have plenty to eat too.
And since it actually RAINED a couple of days ago I don’t need to water the garden today. That’s good since all my Rainwater Catchments were beginning to run dry.
Typically when there’s no more captured rainwater with which to water the garden I let the garden go for the year. But I’m growing luffas this year as part of our Homemade Christmas Gifts. I can’t let the luffa go thirsty, they HAVE to survive!
Lately I’ve been preserving as much of that precious captured rainwater as I can by using Repurposed Coffee Cans.
For this water conservation effort I’ve punched holes in the lids of some of the empty coffee cans. The cans are filled with captured rainwater and the lids are snapped back on.
Then I turn the cans upside down at the base of my plants and the water drains slow enough to be properly absorbed. This Repurposed Coffee Can hack is one of my favorite ways to repurpose those empty coffee cans.
It’s still hot and humid enough outside that I want outside chores done quickly. The cool down (and more chances for rain) are coming up soon. But today? It’s HOT!
I take the opportunity to get into the garden as early as possible before it gets too miserably hot.
Some tomato vines needed typing up so I used Repurpose Plastic Bag Strips for that. The strips of plastic bags are soft & flexible enough that they won’t damage my tender tomato vines.
I also planted a full row plus 4 large 30-gallon containers of bush green beans. I’m hoping for a fall crop, although these beans probably should have been planted a week or two ago. The weather just wouldn’t cooperate until now. We’ll see how they do.
Now it’s back inside to do inside chores. I notice that my Instant Pot Yogurt didn’t turn out as solidly textured as it usually does.
There are many reasons this could be the case. Things such as your starter getting older or adding it while your yogurt milk is still too hot.
I typically check the temps with my *Instant Read Thermometer before I add the yogurt starter. Last night it read just under 100 degrees so I thought I was fine.
But after I added my starter I picked up the IP inside liner to place it back in the IP to incubate, it felt overly warm to me. I believe it was still just too hot for my starter. Maybe I looked at my thermometer wrong or something, I don’t know.
The resulting yogurt thickened very little. But I’d already mixed strawberry sugar free Jello in it (RancherMan’s favorite flavoring). So I can’t use it as the milk portion in my Homemade Bread recipe as I’d done before to eliminate waste.
Eliminating Food Waste
But you know I hate to waste food! What to do…
I know – I pulled out my *Cuisenart Ice Cream Maker and mixed up my recipe for Easy Ice Cream using this thin strawberry-flavored yogurt as both the milk as well as the heavy cream ingredients. I added slightly less sugar since the yogurt was lightly sweetened already.
The resulting strawberry frozen yogurt was a nice, cold, sweet treat on a hot day. And I love that it took something we didn’t want to eat and turned it into something we really, really DID! Plus I was successful in eliminating food waste.
Planning Supper Early
Now’s a good time for me to plan our supper for tonight. I use the Cook Once, Eat Twice method of cooking. It a great shortcut for being able to Serve Homemade Meals Everyday.
In our freezer I see some grilled chicken and some grilled corn on the cob. I still have a small container of leftover Pinto Beans, and I’ll serve a crispy garden salad as well.
Looking in the fridge I see that RancherMan’s out of his favorite Thousand Island Salad Dressing so I’ll make more now.
I notice that my own Creamy Salad Dressing jar is empty too. Mine whips up in only about a minute so I’ll make sure I have my favorite dressing as well.
Dusting off my hands with flourish & feeling proud that supper is planned for so easily. Now, what’s my next task?
I noticed I’m almost out of my current supply of Soapberry Shampoo . So I mixed up another batch by adding 2 teaspoons of baking soda to my soapberry infusion and poured it into the repurposed squeeze bottle I keep in our shower.
The rest of the day will be focused on inside chores. There’s some blog work to be done, and each time the washing machine finishes another load I’ll hang the clean clothes laundry line. That goes on most of the rest of the afternoon.
When it’s time for supper I’ll heat up the now-thawed grilled chicken & corn on the cob along with the last of our leftover pinto beans.
And I keep a plastic box in the fridge where all our salad fixings are already assembled & combined. There’s a small canning jar of chopped carrots and another one holding onions.
And a couple of days ago I made some Boiled Eggs Without The Shell in my IP and chopped several of the eggs too and placed them in another jar. The two salad dressings are in this plastic box as well as some leaf lettuce.
I pulled a couple of fresh tomatoes from the garden and chopped them for use in our salads too. Homemade supper is on the table in minutes.
After supper RancherMan & I bring in and fold or hang the rest of our clean laundry. And RancherMan brings in our *Retractable Clothesline and stores it back in the cabinet. It’s finally time for us to relax.
Around 8:00 – 8:30 I put on another batch of Instant Pot Yogurt to replace the failed yogurt from yesterday. Then it’s time to schnoodle with RancherMan on the couch watching some TV.
About 20 minutes later the IP beeps that the milk has been brought to near boiling. So I take the inner liner out of the IP and place it on the grates of the stove to cool. Back to schoodling with RancherMan.
Right before bed I use the instant-read thermometer to check the temps of the milk. We’re down to under 100 degrees so I stir in my yogurt starter, put the liner back into the IP and press the button to incubate it for 8 hrs. Now off to bed we go.
In the morning I’ll stir in some sugar-free strawberry jello and pour it into individual jelly jars in the fridge for RancherMan’s convenience. (note: This batch turned out just fine)
What a great day it’s been. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!
Links In This Post
- Line-Drying Sheets On A Windy Day
- *Folding Laundry Racks
- 3 Water Catchment Systems We Use
- Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas
- 12 Easy Ways To Repurpose Coffee Cans
- Repurposed Coffee Can For Deep-Soak Watering
- How To Repurpose Plastic Bags In The Garden
- Instant Pot Yogurt
- *Instant Read Thermometer
- Homemade Bread – 2-Lb Loaf
- *Silicone Popsicle Molds
- *Cuisenart Ice Cream Maker
- Easy Ice Cream Recipe
- Save Time With Cook Once, Eat Twice Cooking
- Shortcuts To Serve Homemade Meals Everyday
- Different Flavors Dress Up Plain Pinto Beans
- MYO Thousand Island Salad Dressing In Minutes
- Mix Up Healthy, Creamy Salad Dressing In 1 Minute
- Zero-Waste Soapberry Shampoo
- Shortcut: Instant Pot Boiled Eggs Without The Shell
- *Retractable Clothesline
Other Homesteading Posts
- Tour Our 1880’s Barn
- Evidence of A Past Homestead
- Evidence of (Yet ANOTHER) Old Homestead
- Top 10 Homesteading Posts Each Year
- Why Bother With This Homesteading Thing??!
- Teaching Free-Range Hens To Come HOME
- What I’ve Learned About Free-Range Eggs
- 3 Water-Catchment Systems We Use On The Homestead
- Soap Grows On TREES: Using Natural Soapberry Shampoo
- Easy Self-Sufficiency Steps You Can Take Now
See All Our Homesteading Posts
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It’s always interesting to read your posts and hear about the differences in where you live versus where I live in Oregon. We don’t experience water issues here. I do one water usage conservation thing though. Our spring bubbles up a lot of water, the overflow of which goes into the river/creek behind our house. The new hitch is – the bird man who lives with me recently installed a water purification system. I really hate that all that treated water goes down the drain during showers. I have started to keep a bucket in the shower with me and later use it for a single flush of the toilet. I save all the cardboard boxes that accumulate, flatten them and put them down around perennial plants and cover them with chips we got from some neighbors who took out some plantings and chipped the remains up and kindly gave them to us!!! Lots of great people out here!!!