by Texas Homesteader ~
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!)
Air Drying Clean Laundry During Allergy Seasons
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.
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 During Allergy Season
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.
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 cow that’s getting closer to her calving date. And he wants to keep an eye on the grass to make sure they have plenty for them to eat too.
Garden Chores Early In The Morning
It’s been dry and all my Rainwater Catchments are 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.
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. So 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.
Yogurt Failure – Yogurt Didn’t Thicken
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 In The Day
In our freezer I see some grilled chicken and 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?
Other Tasks For Inside Chores
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.
East Supper Time Plans
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 chopped/sliced and placed in canning jars. There’s a small 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 salad 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.
Winding Down From A Busy Day
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. (note: This batch turned out just fine)
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 jar up some plain yogurt & stir in some sugar-free strawberry Jello into the rest and pour it into individual jelly jars in the fridge for RancherMan’s convenience.
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
- *Cuisinart 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
Old Homesteads/Past Lives
- Top 10 Homesteading Posts Each Year
- Easy Self-Sufficiency Steps You Can Take Now
- Why Bother With This Homesteading Thing??!
- How We Came To Our NE Texas Homestead
- Building Life With Our Own Two Hands
Animals, Chickens, Cows
- Easily Separating Cream From Raw Milk
- 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
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