Taking Stock – Hat Tip to Meet me at Mike’s

Check out Meet me At Mike’s great blog here.

Pip at MMAM does a taking stock post and this month I’m joining in.

Making: Stock, funnily enough.  I recently realised that there is an MSG substitute in my favourite organic stock powder and that was it.  I have resolved to only use it for vegetarian or vegan friends and the rest of the time it is homemade stock all the way.  This time it is chicken but I have mutton bones ready to go and this weekend our pigs come back from the butcher and I always ask for a huge bag of bones for stock.  Lots of making stock rather than taking stock at the moment then.

Cooking: Egg and Tomato sandwiches for today’s picnic (a very important part of my childhood). Blackcurrant and Blackberry cobbler with a lemon vanilla flavoured topping (I invented it, lemon in the scone topping is inspired, even if I say so myself).

Drinking: Fizzy water mostly, no diet coke.  Because I quit it, I quit diet coke!  I can’t quite believe it so I’m saying it again – I quit diet coke!

Reading: Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, S.O.S. Capitalism by Richard Swift and (as an amusing companion to S.O.S. Capitalism) Making Money by Terry Pratchett.  Terry Pratchett was a huge part of my childhood (and my  adult life)  I was sad to hear he had passed (although in some ways I was pleased he’d been released from his illness as I know he would have wanted).  I expect I’ll be reading a lot of Terry Pratchett for the next year – reminding myself of his incredibly elegant and intensely clever work.

Wanting: More time, always more time!  I’m one of those people who cannot ever imagine being bored.

Looking: At a pair of long tailed tits that have just taken up residence in one of our cherry trees. Very pretty birds.

Playing: A lot of role-playing games at the moment: Hillfolk, Hot War, Don’t Rest Your Head, Apocalypse World, Rise and Fall.  Also lots of Board games like Race for the Galaxy and Pentago.

Deciding: To make coronation chicken this weekend.  It is sunny, I have an organic free range chicken about to be turned into stock… I really love coronation chicken.

Wishing: I had a green house/polytunnel – every south facing window sill is crammed with seedlings right now. Well that is next year’s plan!

Enjoying: The sunny weather – it has been really Summery, like June here.  One the one had I love it, I get up earlier, I feel more energised and relaxed.  On the other hand I can see and feel the effects of climate change.

Waiting: To get my seedlings hardened off and transplanted outside. I’m no fool though, it might look like Summer out there but it isn’t and the risk of late frost isn’t passed yet.  I’m being very patient

Liking: R’s new passport photo – totally adorable!

Wondering: Why my Japanese Beefsteak seeds haven’t germinated yet. Maybe the never will.

Loving: The fact I am growing 4 varieties of Heirloom winter squash this year.  We love Squash and these are the types which should keep all through the Winter.  Last year our squashes did badly so I’m hoping for better this year.  Varieties: Boston Winter Squash, Hokkaido Squash, Amber Cup and Black Futsu. Thanks to Anna for the Amber Cup and Black Futsu varieties.

Pondering: How we (as in all people in the world) can live in a way which is sustainable and give everyone a decent standard of living.

Considering: Writing another article for Green Parent Magazine – it was awesome to get my last one printed and I’m keen to do another.

Buying: Play sand for a sand pit, black board paint and wood stain to freshen up the playhouse.

Watching: Bones and Haven.  I love Bones, I love that the main character is not neurotypical, I love that 3 out of the main ensemble cast are awesome kick-ass women.  I would prefer to have more LGBT characters and relationships but it is still a relief to have so many amazing women on screen.  Haven is gentle and awesome and a bit like a grown up version of Round the Twist.  Do you remember Round the Twist?

Waiting: To get my seedlings hardened off and transplanted outside. I’m no fool though, it might look like Summer out there but it isn’t and the risk of late frost isn’t passed yet.  I’m being very patient

Hoping: That one day soon we have great weather and I can take R and Josh to the seaside at Cleethorpes.  Firstly to paddle in the sea, secondly to eat some really good fish and chips and thirdly to stock up on great fresh fish for the freezer.

Marvelling: At daffodils.  The previous owners spent years planting the orchard with lots of varieties of daffodils and every year I find some new ones.  This year I spotted two different varieties of double headed daffodils in two different colours.  I’d never noticed them before but they are beautiful.

Cringing: That UKIP seem to be doing so well (relatively speaking) in recent the UK.

Needing: A Hair cut, I’m ok with cutting R’s hair but I can’t manage a good job on my own.

Questioning: Why my work IT is so unreliable?

Smelling: Frankincense essential oil, nothing is more calming and balancing to me.

Wearing: Summer trousers in purple cotton, grey t-shirt and grey cardigan.  Lots of layers for the changeable weather (cold one minute, warm the next).

Following: This new blog I just found today Frontier Dreams.  Looks like just my thing.

Noticing: Some of my friends in Transition Chesterfield talking about the Stainsby Festival – small, local folk festival which is family friendly.  I’ll definitely be going to that!

Knowing: That I’ve just made some really good chicken stock – it is so concentrated and so jellylike I can turn it upside down over my head and it stays put!

Thinking: We are coming up on meal planning time for the week. We plan all our meals in advance and it really does save lots of time, money and stress.

Admiring: I’ve been reading this blog post by Frugal Queen about a Quilting Exhibition she went to.  I’ve never tried quilting (although I’ve toyed with it before) but some of these are incredible.  So inspiring that I might want to give it a go!

Sorting: My knitting bags – I had so many on the go I didn’t realise how many pairs of scissors I was hoarding.

Getting: serious with our fruit patch.  Josh just planted out 30 strawberry plants (free from his Dad!), we also have 2 white currants, a morello cherry, 2 hazelnuts, a sloe, a cherry plum, a second crab apple and a rescued rhubarb plant.  This is in addition to our existing 4 black currants, Victoria plum, damson, 14 raspberries, 2 red currants, apple orchard and blackberries in the hedge.  Just a couple of gooseberries to go and we will be sorted 🙂

Bookmarking: 100 ways to up cycle your clothing, how to make lined curtains, the moneyless manifesto and how to get the most out of your solar panels.

Coveting: This Frida Kahlo fabric.

Disliking: My allergy – I have a dusty allergy and despite my medication it is kicking my ass right now.

Opening: An Amazon Prime account by accident and then immediately closing it again.  Bastards trick you every which way.

Giggling: With R, apparently the sound of my dressmaking scissors opening and closing is *the* funniest thing ever!

Feeling: Upbeat – I just have this feeling that this Summer is going to be amazing, full of great weather, great company, home grown vegetables and fruit, eating on the verandah, river swimming and BBQs with our home raised meat.

Snacking: Satay Broad Beans and Strawberries and Cream.  I have only a couple of short months in order to cram *all* the Strawberries and Cream into my face.

Wishing: I had a new camera – my phone camera has been busted for a long time and it really put a cramp on my blogging (I’ve only recently realised that and decided to go ahead without pictures for a while!)

Helping: Myself to better health, I’m getting close to giving up sugar completely.  Just need to make the final mental leap 🙂

Hearing: Lovely quiet (the neighbours have turned their music off)


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