Monday, March 05, 2012

When life gives you lemons . . .

 . . .it is a very good thing!

Lemon paradise
Honestly, I think lemons have gotten a bad rap. Replace the word lemons with liver and onions and now we're talking a bad situation. Nothing good can come of that. But lemons? I use lemons for about a thousand different things for which there is no substitute. And ingesting lemons in one form or another is not the only use for them. I just read instructions somewhere online for using lemon waste (the squeezed-out halves) and tap water for making an enzyme cleaner. Anyway, the reason I am defending lemons is that my tree is now loaded with them, and my week will be spent juicing and zesting as much as my freezer will hold.

So, February was quite the full month. The winter garden provided us with tons of good stuff, but none of it preserved. I spent quite a bit of time researching and then trying about 500 ways to use broccoli, as I do not care for it in frozen form. Also, our heirloom lettuces were a great success, and we have more than enough for us, the neighbors and the girls ~ not necessarily in that order. The last couple of weeks of the month were spent planning and then planting our spring garden and pruning our deciduous fruit trees, which are all blooming. It is glorious!
Blossoming apricot tree
But it was not all work. We took time to stop and smell the roses, too. February is the month when most of my husband's side of the family come to visit. It really is the most beautiful month in our desert, in my opinion. Having family come to visit forces us to remember to slow down and enjoy it with them.

So with everything in bloom right now, I am thinking spring cleaning and getting back to basics. I am trying to figure out where I can incorporate a clothes line into my back yard. I love clothes lines. But I don't want it to look like I just wandered down from the hills. More research needs to be done on this. This week, I am also going to make my own laundry soap, which just makes my little frugal, laundry lovin' heart go pitty pat. (The thoughts of spring cleaning were what led me to discover the lemony enzyme thing.)
Lancaster laundry day
As for stitching, I have started Ann Rayner, but I have been struggling with a nasty episode of tennis elbow, so I have been trying to not over do. Next time, I hope to have a progress photo that won't bore everyone to tears. But in keeping with my "back to basics" theme, I will instead post a little finish from last year: Carriage House Samplings' Hornbook Sampler. Basic at its very best.

Carriage House Samplings
Hornbook Sampler
I will leave you with a photo of the girls in their new playpen, which is an old wheelbarrow filled with compost. Once my arm  heals I am going to paint it a different shade of green. That is, if I can keep them out. I may have to do it under the cloak of darkness when they are all snoozy in their roost to avoid a real mess ~ or in my new parlance, one of those liver and onions moments.
And a chicken in
every wheelbarrow!
Happy week everyone!


barbara said...

Life sounds so happy! I wish we had lemon trees. :) Feathery hugs to the girls!!

Katrina said...

Ack, hope your elbow is starting to feel better!!! Love the little hornbook :-).

Michelle said...

Lemons are my favorite thing - I wish I had my own lemon tree!! Your hornbook is so sweet, and so is the wheelbarrow for your girls. I hope your elbow is better soon!