Sunday, May 15, 2016

Monthly Goals Update and This Week's Goals

Well, where last week was super productive despite depressing events on the home front, this week was...well not productive I guess is the best way to put it.

With having various appointments that just blew the day (orthodontist for daughter, allergist for son and dental visit for my husband on top of therapies) and then having to deal with a son who keeps breaking out in welts and hives on top of it, it would have been a lesson in frustration to try and get anything done.  So, the housework piled up because I wasn't home and I sure didn't get to work on the yard work I want to get done at all.

I'm hoping this week will be more productive as while I have my son home tomorrow (his class has a field trip, but it's all outdoors and the way his allergies have been going and he has speech therapy tomorrow, the rest of the week we are free from appointments and therapies.  So I'm hoping I can get a FEW things done in the next five days.  Especially clearing some of the yard where the weeds will start to take over immediately if we get any rain (and I'm honestly hoping for rain...we've had a dry spring and summer so far).  I really need to clear the raspberry bank of dead wood as between the raspberry bushes the moose, heat and blight killed and the dead rose's awful looking and really just needs to be tended to.

I measured out my All American canner.  It's going to be a kind of tight fit for a hot water bath canner for my pint jars (you have to fill it about 80% of the way up to go over the tops of the jars, but it does work), quart jars are out until I get my 27 quart canner back (although I was happy to note that the quart jars do fit if you use it as a pressure canner...I just couldn't get the jars covered with at least an inch of water in that sucker to save my life though to do hot water bath canning).  I'm missing my Presto already and I'm really praying the cooperative extension gal comes in quickly to check it.  If not I might be stopping by and grabbing it back from them at some point this week just to get some canning done and then dropping it off again.  My husband has even suggested just going and getting a new pressure gauge and installing it as that's the only thing on the canner that would be the least bit bad on it.  I know it still seals up fine.  I'd prefer not to have to replace it unless I have to though.  We'll see how it goes this week.

One of the things I didn't get to this week was canning dilly beans due to my schedule, so I went through the beans tonight and picked out the few that were turning brown and not looking like they were good canning fodder anymore.  I washed them well, dried them and put them in a bowl and will store them in the fridge tonight (seen above in process).  Tomorrow I'll attempt to can them in my All American canner and pray that it gets the job done as a hot water bath canner.  Fingers crossed!

I did, however, get all of the reams of paperwork filled out and to the proper people involved, so I feel good getting that off of my plate!

So, onto my goals for this week.

Sewing Goals:
  • Work on gift for new niece.  I really got to get working on this or she'll be here before I get a chance to start on it.
  • Work on mending husband's work jacket.

Canning Goals:
  • Can dilly beans.  IF the new canner works well as a hot water bath canner, can taco sauce.  If not, maybe go and get Presto canner to get the job done.

Cleaning Goals:
  • Clean house (after last week this needs to be done BAD!).  
  • Scrub bathrooms.
  • Scrub laundry room.
  • Sort and put away laundry.
  • Clean path to master bedroom closet (husband decided to pull stuff out of the closet one day and then didn't put it all back in so there's kind of a mess to clean up) and put up winter clothing I bought for kids earlier and their winter boots for next winter.
  • Wash and put up winter gear for year (I can't BELIEVE I'm still working on that.  It's sad really).
  • Scrub down kid's rooms (this is a priority item as I want to make sure this gets done by the time the kids are out of school and thus makes it harder for me to do at that point).
  • Shampoo Carpets

Yard/Garden Goals:
  • Work on yard.  Any area of the yard.  Just WORK ON IT!
  • Plant more lettuce seeds and some basil seeds in the hanging planter.  Also plant some more seeds in the bare area of the garden to fill in holes where seeds didn't germinate and also in the one bare area that was saved to rotate planting.
  • Start working on trellis for peas as they are taking off already and I want to make sure that's up before I'm caught with my proverbial pants down.
  • Compost around rhubarb plant to see if it will help it grow better.

General Goals:
  • Get kids through last week of school.
  • Sit down and work out schedule for summer break (my daughter's stomach does better when the day and meal times are structured, so I'm hoping to stick with that for the summertime to help her stomach from cycling).
  • Start doing a "write down goal" list every day (Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert asserts that writing goals down 14 times in a day will help to reshape reality for you to meet those goals.  Heck, I figure it's worth a shot :).
  • Get den cleaned out and put things in donation pile or out in storage (this goes for the master bedroom closet as well, but I'm thinking that one is waiting till next week for me to start).

And there you go folks.  My goals for this week.  How about you?  Got anything planned?


  1. A busy week for you! I want to finish our upstairs, I did a big chunk last week, but I still have about 2 days worth, but my 3 year old doesn't always cooperate. I used Amazon prime shipping credits from picking the 5 day shipping for some free Paw Patrol episodes for him, so he might sit still with a few new episodes, for a little while.

    I made a lot of strawberry jam on saturday, I am hoping to make more if the birds will stay out of the garden.

    I need to get caught up on the laundry. I am worried my kids have mingled their clean and dirty so badly over the weekend it might all have to be washed again.

    I woke up yesterday with almost no voice, for some reason, and still hardly have one today,,so we shall see how that makes the day lol. How annoying. I'm not sure if it's pollen or what, I am just croaky sounding.

    Oh, also need to get cracking the cub scouts are doing their pack meeting here in a week and a half, to do sores and whatnot, so I really don't want all those people from church to see how messy it's gotten, yet I feel so unmodivated today!

    1. It really is hard to get motivated sometimes when you are staring at a dirty house and piles of laundry that need to be done and a lot of other projects (like your upstairs) you'd rather be doing. I totally get it and am there myself. I'd rather be working in the garden or yard and not scrubbing my kitchen floor right now *laugh*.

      Good for you on the strawberry jam. I need to can the other things I have on my list and figure out how many jars I have left before I can more strawberry preserves, but I've come to realize it MIGHT start to become a necessity as my husband has decided he loves the preserves as an ice cream topping, so we've blown through two jars so far *laugh*.

  2. Hi Erika,
    Would you post the process of making taco sauce? I've been wanting to make some too. Thanks! Kathryn

    1. Sure! When I make it I'll take pictures and share it if it tastes good. It's a new to me recipe that I found in my canning book so I really want to give it a shot. It'd be great if it turns out because it'll supply me with enchilada/taco sauce pretty much all through the winter. Always welcome :).

  3. My goals for the month:
    1. Survive
    2. Survive without killing anyone.

    1. I hear you. I just survived a family wedding this weekend. Gah!!!!

    2. Ah yes, family get togethers. I know that struggle well. I'll send positive vibes your way that you'll be able to ignore people and that you'll be able to survive without killing anyone. Good luck!

    3. I vow to smile, nod my head then smile again.

  4. Erika, can you put the rack from your pressure canner into another stock pot that is tall enough for those canning jars? Just a suggestion that might help you use what you have already.

    1. I actually thought of that, but unfortunately all of my stock pots are short and squat...or at least shorter and more squat than my pressure canner, unfortunately. So, I'm stuck with what I've got for now :).

    2. I bought a stock pot with blancher and steamer insert at an auction for I think $1 and another good sized stock pot for around the same price at another auction. If you get a chance to go to some yard sales, watch for a good sized stock pot for cheap. Lots of people buy a big stock pot, but then get rid of them because they are too big to store easily and they don't use it very often. I use mine all the time, now that I have them, for all sorts of things. If you don't have a water bath canner, a large stock pot with the rack from your pressure canner would be perfect to use. Just a tip though, thrift store like to charge more for large stock pots than people trying to get rid of them at yard sales or auctions!

    3. Yeah, I might have to hit the yard sales and see what I can find for stock pots. Actually, with the exception of knick knacks and videos, I've noticed that the thrift stores tend to charge more for pretty much everything compared to yard sales (of course, it depends on the yard sale). The thrift stores, though, you have the advantage of them being there all year round, of course :).

      Thanks for the tip, though it makes good sense. I'll have to see if maybe we can go and hit some yard sales this year after all just so I can find a few things that I have on my list, a bigger stock pot (I only have up to an 8 quart right now) might be a good idea to add to it :).

  5. I hope you get the pressure cooker issue resolved. I use a different pot for water bath canning. They are not very expensive here-around $15. Not sure what they would cost there.

    It looks like you have a busy week ahead of you. My goal is to get out of the house. We are going to be out by Saturday night. I am feeling pretty pressured, but I know we can get it done. It's just a lot to get done.

    1. Yeah, I've thought of purchasing water bath canner (they are about 15.00 here too in season that I recall), but normally with my Presto canner here I don't see the point as it's huge, will can tons at a time and is obviously good for a water bath canner or a pressure canner. I just got spoiled with it being here all the time *laugh*.

      I am going to call the Cooperative Extension Service tomorrow and just see if I can hop in and get my Presto canner back. I talked to my husband about it and we both started thinking about picking the canner up after school lets out and that might be a nightmare in the making as my canner is heavy enough and bulky enough I wouldn't be able to keep a hand on it and my son at the same time, so odds are I'd break the pressure gauge getting it out of the building anyway to stop my son from running off. So, he told me to just pick it up and we'd get a new pressure gauge in a little bit just to be safe and to make our lives easier. Honestly, once I thought of it like that he's right. 20.00 is a small cost for making sure my son isn't going to run off on me when I'm juggling something else.