Thursday, August 25, 2011

This week in crazy....

Part of me finally feels like I have all of the wedding stuff under control. (Notice I said part of me.) And at this point, it pretty much has to be good enough. Shane leaves tonight for the moose hunting trip/bachelor party. Cross your fingers that they have luck!
Back at home, I think I'll be spending most of my time doing my last autumn preparations: cranberry and rose hip picking/preserving. Maybe another trip to go blueberry picking? Harvesting my potatoes, getting more rhubarb in the freezer, which is getting quite full. I'm slowly trying to make the refrigerator freezer into our produce freezer, and leaving the other one for meat and fish. It hasn't fully happened yet (there's still a lot of crossover) but it will get there. Shane and I agreed that when we get home from our honeymoon we need to figure out what, exactly, we do have in our freezers and start planning meals accordingly. (Please note: running a mostly empty fridge/freezer takes a lot of electricity. When it's fuller, it doesn't have to work as hard because the other cold foods help to keep the temperature down. As we work down in the chest freezer we'll start putting in jugs of water that we've frozen outside. This also works as an emergency fresh water supply in case of emergency. Smart, huh?)
We also had the home weatherization people in our place this week. Shane and I both had to rearrange our schedules a bit to either let them in or talk to them/sign paperwork. (As if life wasn't crazy enough for us right now!) But it was good. They put in some extra weather stripping and, at least in a few places, some more insulation. They insulated the water tank. They also vented the dryer outside (it was just blowing into the garage, which is not only gross but dangerous--the supervisor told me that dryer fires are the number one wintertime cause of home fires in Fairbanks) and put a vent in our bathroom to help with the mold problems we've been having. Hurray! We got a number of nifty little toys, too, like a temperature/humidity monitor, a timer for plugging in the truck, a special brush for cleaning the coils on the back of the fridge (should be done at least once a year), new CFL light bulbs (which actually only replaced our least-used bulbs), and he did a complete electricity audit with me to help with ways to lower our electricity bill. (Like not using the heat dry setting on the dishwasher, which I don't do anyway.) Apparently our fridge is only costing us about $8/month, which is pretty good around here. Overall it was pretty fantastic. It's a "very leaky house", but this should help make it less so and hopefully our landlord won't have to raise the rent on us. Once again, fingers crossed....
I bought turnips last weekend at the farmer's market, but we honestly had no idea what to do with them. I knew when I bought them that I didn't want them for anything this week, but the farmer's market will probably be gone when we get back from our honeymoon, or at the tail end and with few vegetables. (They generally go until the snow falls.) So I'm trying to stock up. We don't have a root cellar, and the garage is too warm even in winter. Shane had the brilliant suggestion of using the second bedroom as a sort of root cellar, since it's generally quite a bit cooler than the rest of the house. So I'll be storing our turnips and potatoes in there this winter.
I grabbed a book from work about Alaska berries and what to do with them. Rose hips, look out! There are some very yummy recipes in there that I'm looking forward to using. Like rose hip cookies, and different fruit leathers, and how to freeze/can stuff properly.
It was almost frosty this morning (I could see my breath as I was biking to work) so I'm battening down the hatches and getting ready for winter. Almost ready. And since I'm not the only one with big preparations to do, good luck to those of you on the East Coast! I hope hurricane Irene is gentle with you.

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