Thank you for your nice comments, Dean! Maybe I need to design a course in Homesteadology.
Just call me Doc Jilly.
Today I got some good stuff done around the homestead. Used my rainwater to load up and soak the laundry in my Wonderwash. That is a manual cranking tub that lets me do a wash load with no electricity. I then used the wash water to pour around my fruit trees. I added some excellent compost tea to the wash water to make it more nutritious. (I barter empty plastic milk jugs for the compost tea from a hydroponics store.)
I got about five pounds of used coffee grounds from Starbucks to add to my garden and compost, for free. I try to get a bag whenever I drive by the Starbucks. Usually they have something for me.
I used the urine from my urine toilet to add to the compost, and also the used coffee filters from my Grounds for Gardens bags. The grounds themselves went around my fruit trees, which are suffering badly in the heat.
I added more produce scraps to the compost bin as well. It's really gotten hot in there! The black tire walls and glass top trap massive amounts of heat. I don't stir the compost as much as I should, but I'm really in no hurry here. I just let it perk along like a really big pile of coffee. lol.
My garden in general is doing quite poorly in this daily 106 degree heat and blazing sun. Most plants have died back. I'm okay with this, since summer gardening here is not really feasible without shade cloth and a lot of babysitting. I don't feel like babysitting. Fortunately, the spring, fall and winter gardening is very simple. I'll just start things up again when it starts to cool off.
I have some food pantry apples and garden tomatoes to slice up and dehydrate. I hope to get to that tomorrow.
I also spent some time trying to tame the feral momma cat that I feed (her name is Giles). She comes to me for food every day and eats the food while my hands are on the bowl, but she still feels a need to hiss at me if she's not eating. Ingrate.
When she weans her litter I will be getting a spay voucher for her to stop this cycle of kittens. Then I will have the three kittens and handful of other ferals to think about capturing to spay.
I filled up my water jugs yesterday in Cottonwood from the free hose outside Catholic Charities, and contemplated the waste from their peach tree. You can't reach their peaches without a ladder, and the ripened fruit just falls down and splats on the driveway. I want to make a note to talk to them about this. They have a pecan tree too. No reason to let this food go to waste.
Since my city water is turned off, I am more active about filling my potable water jugs, and using captured rain water more.
I've learned to wash dishes in very little water. The key is using a small amount of detergent so you don't need to rinse as much. Then I let the dishes air dry on the picnic table outside in the sun. The UV light does a better job of sanitizing than hot water would do.
The rain water actually gets pretty hot during the day right in the barrels, so if I need warm to lightly hot water, I just wait until midday. That is especially nice for a splash bath, foot bath, or for washing my hair. I'll be doing a warm splash bath after my chores tomorrow.
During the weekdays I did a lot of my freebie shopping - i used store money from couponing to buy things. I made around $50 in store money like Catalina coupons, register rewards and extra bucks. This isn't the easiest thing to do (there is a sharp learning curve), but it is a fun hobby once you have the knack. People need to shop for food anyway, so why not buy the things that give me free money back?
Elsewhere on this forum i list the articles i've posted about how to shop like this. When i have everything written it will all go in the ebook.
Also tomorrow - I cleaned off the dirt from my solar panel and will charge up the dead battery from my dead jeep. Tonite I will use my multimeter to test how dead the battery is and hook it up to the solar panel.
So I do have a good day ahead of me around the homestead.