Today was school orientation for #1, #2, and #3. We found their lockers, classrooms, met a few teachers, and touched base with busing. School starts next week, and we haven't gotten a bus schedule for them yet. I guess they're trying to figure out the logistics of picking the kids up on a busy highway with nowhere to turn a bus around in the driveway, without crossing the railroad (which crosses the driveway). I'm sure they'll get it figured out, I just hope it's done soon enough that we know what time they have to be out there waiting more than the night before. Tony suggested they may end up having to ride a short bus so they can turn around in the small turn around space between the highway and the railroad tracks. Sometimes it can be hard to turn a car around there, especially in winter when you can't tell where the extra bit is and where it drops off into the ditch to either side (one for the highway and one for the railroad). I remember coming to see the house in January and having to turn around there as the gate was locked.
Tonight Tony made dinner. It was a "what we have on hand" variation of sweet and sour chicken over rice. Not bad. We used four peppers from the garden and the last pepper that was left in the fridge from the dinner my parents made when they visited.
It looks like our container garden has a couple eggplants, a few more peppers, some tomatoes, and plenty more sage and thyme. Beyond that, there's one yellow zucchini, and one Table King acorn squash. Not much of anything to feed the family over winter. I'm really disappointed in my meager garden, but Tony reminds me that it was a rough year and we can do better next year.
This year four of the five kids will be in school getting free breakfast and free lunch (we are well below the financial cut off for our family size), which means I can save some money just having to feed #5 and I breakfast and lunch five days a week. Pasta, rice, crock-pot stews, and using rabbit meat will help keep our food expenses down too. We may have to get resourceful in the spring when school gets out and next years garden isn't producing yet, but hopefully we will be doing well by then having saved on food all winter.
Next year the garden will have a lot more variety (I hope), including some winter storage varieties like squash and pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, and Giraffe tomatoes. I'm getting excited thinking about what we can plant for next year. I'm already looking forward to winter sowing, despite that still being several months out. For some reason my winter sowing did terribly this year, and I suspect it could be due to shade from the trees as they got leaves, or maybe from not being watered enough as we were not at home at the time. This winter going into next year's garden should be a lot better as I plan on being home to do better maintenance. So excited to have a "real" garden again!