Thursday, July 10, 2008

Small beginnings

The Bible tells us not to trivialize and shun Small Beginnings, to have patience and faith. On Earth we have seasons; seasons of friendships, of love, employment, personal growth. There are seasons of Hardship and seasons of bliss. There is a time for every purpose under Heaven. I've kept this in mind as I've read of other gardens that produce massive amounts of produce and/or flowers, I've accepted that I will have to invest, time, patience, faith and hope in the power God set forth to make a seed become a bounty and ultimately on the dinner plate as something yummy, life sustaining and enjoyable.

I wasn't going to show photos each day of my little containers thinking it might be boring but this blog is as much a Garden Diary for me as it is sharing, so I hope you will be as delighted as I am seeing the progress of the last 24 hours.

It hasn't been a full week since they were planted, the other seeds haven't made their appearance yet. Hubby assures me they have enough water. I reminded him this is 'his baby' and I trust him but I really want to water those Plants! We had a good rain couple days ago and today is cloudy. So, we shall see how they are doing by morning.

I was SO SHOCKED I didn't even think to get my camera! Right here in the Land of Concrete, too.

We have those doors with a 'lite' on either side, you know, those narrow long windows. My son was going past the front door to the stairs and stopped on a dime. "Tell me I am not seeing a Turtle walking on the sidewalk." I'm thinking, 'oh, please.' then I saw it too! This thing was big! Not giant sea turtle big but about the size of my George curled up sleeping. And he was haulin' shell on the hot sidewalk. No way can you stand bare foot on the sidewalk without getting third degree burns, seriously. So my older son got the turtle and bought him up in the shade, turned on the water and let it cool then watered the turtle.

This thing had claws! Like a bear or lion, BIG long Nine Inch Nails! And his nose, probiscus, whatever its called was pointed like a snout. According to this website, from which I obtained the photo,

these are Iowa turtles, most likely a subspecies, and the female gets up to 17 inches with the male being half that size. My guess is this was a female. But not with the pretty shell shown here:

See that nose?
Anyway, long story short, called Animal Control which assured me she would be 'relocated' to our lake. But they never showed and the little lady started haulin' shell again, across the street and toward the big street at the end of the subdivision. Car after car stopped to look at her. But she was on a mission to get somewhere. We all wondered if she made it to the creek about 1/2 mile down the road.
We did our best to get her cooled off and moist for the trip.

Oh, I was going to pick up on turning junk mail to Gold but thought you might like to see my solar oven and we'll pick up the other tomorrow....IF I get my shade finished.

(I did include a frugal tip at the bottom of this post)

Well, here it is:

We are having lots of clouds so no way it will cook anything but I wanted to see how hot it would get inside so I put in the candy thermometer (need to get oven thermometer) and after 2 hours of clouds and diffused sunlight it was about 165*.

It's 96* outside with clouds so that is about how hot the inside of a car would be in this weather. Which is why, in southern states we like cloth seats not! If it is 165* on a cloudy day, I imagine it will boil water, at least on a clear day. At 185* water is purified. Can't remember how long to leave water at that temp, need to check again. The Solar Oven will cook similar to a crock pot. So if we want an evening meal the food needs to be started around noon.

Here is a great link to a newscast out of San Antonio, TX where Monica Salyer and an associate cooked a meal for the news anchors...they also post Monica's website where you can get a lot of information.

Click here to see the short video

Before I go, let me offer a Frugal Tip or two. In the summer cook outside as much as possible. I currently have my Roaster full of 10 pounds of pork chops being BBQ'd.

We don't think much of it, or I never did, but that big roaster sitting inside puts off a lot of heat. The heat will continue being made until you turn it off. Not only that but it has to work harder to stay at 350* in a house that is 78* than it does on the patio where the temp is closer to 100*. THEN when you take that lid off, take the food out, it releases a LOT more heat that you pay to have cooled. I rather buy myself a little goodie at the thrift store or put that money toward some fabric or wall paper than cooling a roaster. Or, for that matter, the oven.

I batch cook to save even more money. I'll take the food out we are going to have for dinner and leave the rest to cool Inside the Roaster with the lid On. In an hour or so, the temp is still healthy and I bring the food in to cool down more. After that I bag up or otherwise seal for storage the cooled food and now I have a meal to heat in the Microwave for a LOT less time and money than it would have been to batch cook Inside. Bottom line, you have a choice, with minor inconvenience, how you will spend that extra money you just saved. Doesn't sound like much at first but it adds up quickly when combined with other frugal choices. It's a journey. It seems pointless but we don't need to trivialize or shun these small beginnings.

Stay cool Y'all,


  1. oh my that solar oven is amazing, we are north facing in the cottage (so in australia that is HOT in the summer) and you've got me thinking about what I could do in the sun trap out there. thanks

  2. When I lived in Houston, we had a heat wave one year, and on the news, they showed people cooking dinner in the back window of their cars while at work!