Thursday, August 18, 2016

This Week's Shopping Trips

I am wiped out this week.  With school starting it's been challenging.  The school started a "flow chart complex" system of pick up and drop offs for students, which subsequently wiped out 2/3 of the parking at the school, so I have to show up 15 minutes early to drop the kids off and pick the kids up so I know I'll be able to get a parking spot.  My son isn't liking the first full week of school being a full week and he doesn't like the new classroom with its' lack of OT type of areas...I'm advocating for them to change that pronto before he really starts to hate's hoping.  And I've been trying to get housework caught up since the kids are back in school.  And my son hasn't been sleeping all week.  And somehow, over a month ago I did SOMETHING to my left shoulder so if I twist around certain ways, or if I use my left arm too much it gives me Heck for doing it (still have NO idea what I did to start this whole "make me miserable" process.  Go figure).  This is definitely a week where my shoulder isn't happy with me because well...I needed to use it a lot.  My shoulder is just going to have to deal with it *laugh*.

When it came to shopping this week, my week started on Monday.  As soon as the kids got dropped off for the first day of school (we start school early up here so the kids can get out earlier and enjoy more of our light during the summer), I headed into Palmer to the U-Pick farm because I found out they had turnips for .65 lb!  Since the slugs and birds have repeatedly wiped mine out, I figured this was the best shot I had of getting turnips for the winter.

I was about 2/3 of the way to the U-Pick farm (beautiful drive in the country to get there) when I got a call from my friend, Cassie.  I had e-mailed her a few weeks ago about potentially going berry picking with her as she is a rabid berry picker.  I kid you not she takes it VERY seriously.  Does not divulge her berry picking places under threat of death, takes a specially designed rig she made to wash the berries on site right after she picks them and she flash freezes them in dry ice as soon as they are cleaned so they are "berry fresh" as she calls it.  I wanted to get some blueberries but had no idea where to go to get them, so I figured she'd be the one to ask (and I promised under penalty of death ahead of time that I wouldn't divulge the berry picking location).  She had said she'd let me know when they would be around my area to go berry picking.

Cassie asked if I wanted her to pick me up to go berry picking up North which would be about a two hour drive.  She home schools her kids, so she didn't realize school was in session yet, but I told her that not only would that be too far out for me, but I was also nearly to the U-Pick farm.  At that point I got an excited screech in my ear.  Cassie explained that she wanted to go to the U-Pick farm for potatoes, but it was really hard for her as her littles had to be watched out in the rows (kids under ten aren't allowed in the picking areas) by her twelve year and fourteen year olds and she really hated to make them do that.  She basically worked a trade.  I'd get her 50 lbs of potatoes and she'd get me blueberries.  And you know what?  That sounded like a good deal to me!
What I failed to remember is that I'm not in my twenties anymore and picking 20 lbs of turnips and 50 lbs of potatoes (which luckily they just plow up the potatoes and you just have to sort through the potatoes to find the ones you want) and then a drive into Palmer to work the exchange wasn't going to be as easy on me as it used to be *laugh*.  I've definitely been tired and sore this week as a result and my son not sleeping and things didn't help the situation much.  Cassie handed me the money, the blueberries (two big freezer bags full...doesn't seem like a lot, but trust me for the work involved?  That's a lot :) and then handed me a box with two big zucchini and a squash from her hoop house saying I was one of the people she hadn't handed some off onto yet *laugh* (the zucchini and squash is seen up top there with my turnip haul).

All totaled at the U-Pick farm I spent 17.22 on the turnips and a giant cabbage (seen in the above picture).  And I got blueberries, zucchini and some type of squash for the cost of my labor.  Life is good there!

I then went shopping at Carrs and Fred Meyer today where I picked up the usual fare of Coke and chips for the son, chicken drumsticks on reduced for .76 lb at Carrs and a BUNCH of produce in the 1.00 bags at Fred Meyer.  I got bags of apples and lemons and peppers and a few mixed bags with plums and peaches (to put in my daughter's lunches and things).  So, on the agenda for this weekend is processing peppers and making applesauce.  Honestly?  I spent 17.00 just on produce at Fred Meyer.  I went a bit nuts when I saw bags of three peppers for 1.00.  Normally peppers go for about 3.00 a piece up here, so finding them so cheap was definitely worth stocking up on them!  The bags of lemons were stuffed full and I got a ton.  I plan on either making them into lemonade concentrate (which I'm sure you can do...I just need to look that one up) or dehydrating them to make lemonade or lemon water out of later.  I didn't show the pics of the trips to Fred Meyer and Carrs because I just kind of put everything away and crashed when I got home from the store today. 

All totaled I spent 68.47 on groceries this week.  I do plan on going back to Carrs and getting a couple of cantaloupes this weekend (I got a cheap personalized price on them this week and forgot them today) and a couple of other small items I spaced while at the store (like I forgot THOSE I have no idea as I had it on my list and underlined *thumbs up* doing great!), but so far I'm really happy with shopping this week :).

I processed about 2/3 of the turnips for the freezer yesterday and tomorrow I'm going to process the rest and get the zucchini taken care of for the freezer.  Overall?  I'd say the freezer and pantry are looking good so far!

How about you?  Find anything good this week?


  1. great job on all the produce! yes, that is a lot of wild blueberries to pick, you will love having those in the middle of the winter. I hope you get some much deserved and needed rest.

  2. Ahhh awesome on your produce! I wish our grocery stores marked ours down. They never do. It's half rotten though most if the time, then they trash it.

    Try heat on your shoulder? Tiger balm or something? If the blood gets flowing better maybe it can heal quicker?

  3. Erika, I agree with Sarah on the heat. After I was in a car accident, I went to a physiotherapist and that was what she recommended. If you have a heating pad it can work wonders. Use it while you are resting for 15 min to a 1/2 hour each day(probably best to do when kids are at school as you won't probably get that long otherwise) until it starts to feel better.

    What an amazing job you've done this summer to prepare for winter. Just to let you know, we bought wild blueberries this year (probably about what you have showing in the picture) and they cost $40! It was definitely a score with that trade. So glad you were able to add more variety of fruit and veggies to your pantry stock.

    I have a question for you on the turnip. I don't eat turnip, but my MIL always insists on having it with Christmas dinner. We grow them at my work, so I might be able to scam a few from there. How do you prepare them for long term storage? Do you just cut it up and freeze the pieces or do you store them like potatoes? Totally clueless on this one!

    1. With turnips, cut them into bite sized chunks, blanch in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on the size of the just want to make sure they are heated through), dunk in ice water for three to five minutes (until cool) and then bag, tag and freeze. Then just use them like you would turnips in any cooked application (soups, stews, mashed, etc). It works great. I was going to try to can them this year, but turnips are kind of delicate compared to say potatoes, so I didn't them to come out too mushy. I am going to try and dehydrate a couple just to see if I can rehydrate them and use them in turnip slaw or make them into turnip kraut later on.

      IF you have a root cellar or somewhere that remains cold, just cut off the greens about two inches above the turnip, keep them dirty and place them in boxes with a good layer of damp sawdust or play sand on top of them and they SHOULD keep for about four months. I've had no luck doing that and ended up with turnip sludge when I tried it, so I'm sticking with freezing (I think my pantry just stays too warm).

  4. I was going to ask about the turnips too - so thanks Rhonda for asking, and Erika for answering!

    You did a great job with all the produce this week. That's a ton of blueberries! And what a great trade!

    I'd second the heat on your shoulder - my PT said no more than 10 min at a time though. You also might try having your hubby roll a rolling pin over it a few times too - a way to self-massage the muscles and release the lactic acid. If it keeps bothering you, please get it checked out. The cost of long-term damage could be way worse!

    Processing produce here too - blanched and froze green beans, kohlrabi, corn and cabbage. Also did tomato sauce and pickled beets. I'm about ready to be done with the produce but we have 8 more weeks at least here. We have 12 pie pumpkins coming on the vines this year so I know I'll be processing those later and the tomatoes and peppers will keep producing until we get a hard frost too. Hoping to glean some apples from a friend in a month or so also. Makes me tired just thinking about it but I know we'll appreciate it come winter!

    Prayers that you and your son will get some rest soon and that the shoulder heals from whatever it was quickly!


  5. I lived with a shoulder that did not allow me to lift my arm above my head for quite a while, with it getting worse and worse. Finally, one of my sisters pointed out that I did not have to live like that. "they have physical therapy for that." I had just let it creep up on me, and had not realized it had gotten so bad. I ended up doing 5 months of physical therapy, and it worked. This was a combination of exercises done at home, plus at the office 2-3 times per week, with manipulation by a therapist and a machine that sends little shocks into your arm. They iced it and told me to put ice on several times per day. This was a few years ago, and it's still fine. I had calcium deposits in my arm. So, depending on what's wrong with it, ice vs. heat......It might be worth your time to go to the doctor if is persists.

    1. Thanks, Becky. I'll definitely keep that in mind. Right now I have some mentholated pain patch thingies stuck on it and it seems to be helping. I think my biggest problem is that I keep re-injuring it. It starts to feel good and then I have to overreach to get to something or lift something really heavy and I'm back where I started. If it's still bugging me on Monday I think I'm making an appointment with the doctor to get checked out. Since it doesn't bother me constantly, I'm thinking I'll be okay, but the time frame on it bothering me is getting up there at nearly a month, so it might be time to make sure nothing serious is wrong.