Monday, July 25, 2016

Monthly Goals Update and This Week's Goals

Well, as goal making goes, this week wasn't too shabby to say the least.  I managed to get the rat tailed radish relish canned, got my gardening goals met (ripping out plants, amending soil and planting new seeds) and such.  I didn't get a chance to work on Christmas gifts as much as I would have liked due to not getting much sleep and thus a cranky kid due to not getting much sleep and allergies that were driving him nuts.  I have about one cup of raspberries in the freezer now after harvesting all week daily and I've blanched and frozen about three batches of peas now, with another waiting in the fridge to do. 

One of the main things that took up my time this week was rearranging the house (again).  Heather, one of our blog readers, was really super duper generous and sent me a lot of material (thanks again, Heather!) and I realized that I didn't really have a system of organization for fabric so much as "shove it into whatever hole it'll fit in".  So, that started me down the organizing and decluttering rabbit hole.  I uncovered loads of old kids clothes that the kids had outgrown in the last year and that I had just put into spaces in closets and things to deal with later.  I went through my fabric and figured out what fabric I had used that I didn't like but was holding onto for some reason (fabric shrank about 15 times normal shrinkage rates, etc) and put it into donation bags along with small little remnants of fabric that a quilter would love, but I wouldn't really do anything with other than hold onto in the event that one day I would decide to make a quilt out of them.  By the time I went through my kitchen (anything that I hadn't used at LEAST once in the last two years was on the chopping block to get rid of), put the old clothes in the donation bags and things the used store was thrilled to get a big load of stuff :). 

I then took the one Closetmaid unit we have that has I think pretty much travelled around the entire house by this point, and grabbed it out of my son's closet.  I then moved it downstairs into the den, moved my antique dresser upstairs into my son's room to house his weighted blanket and spare sheets, and then started folding and arranging fabric and organizing sewing things better.  The final results are above.  I am super happy with how it all turned out and for the first time in my married life I can actually SEE what I have for fabric now.  And double bonus?  My son can't rock the rocking chair back into the wall anymore because he hits fabric bolts instead.  Love it!!!!
I even managed to make a collage of different things to hang above my sewing table where the wall was pretty bare and always kind of drove me nuts as it needed something hanging there.  So, I took a couple of my old vintage patterns, my one totally complete vintage hand needle set and a couple of other sewing odds and ends and made the collage out of them.  It's now hanging above my sewing table, goes perfectly with the antiquey look of the den and it saves me from worrying about my needle kit getting into my son's hands and him wrecking it.  So, win win there :).

Total cost to make?  A .25 yard sale frame that I have reused about fifteen times now for home decor stuff, the needle book came in a desk full of stuff when we moved into our old house, the patterns were .10 a piece at the thrift store and the other sewing notions my step-mom sent me.   Even the scrap booking paper used for the background was given to me by my sister-in-law in a scrapbooking kit she gave me for Christmas years ago.  So, all totaled for less than 1.00 this thing got made :).

This week's goals are all over the place, honestly as I'm trying to get some things done before it gets too hot again and I have a lot of cleaning and organizing that I still want to get done.  So, it's going to be busy.

Cleaning Goals:
  • Clean ceiling fans
  • Scrub son's room
  • Shampoo carpets, especially downstairs carpets
  • Work on camper if kids let me

Gardening Goals:
  • Continue to watch garden and tend to seedlings.  
  • Thin lettuce plants significantly to try and deter slugs (I did that this morning.  So many slugs killed.  It was gross)
  • Thin Swiss Chard back to the last two plants that aren't bolting (did that today too).  Blanch and freeze chard that is picked.
  • Continue to harvest peas and raspberries.

Canning Goals:
  • Can cherries
  • Can rhubarb (this and the cherries are a time and weather permitting type of thing as they ARE in the freezer right now and safe from spoilage)

General Goals:
  • Work on Christmas gifts (I've got a set plan on finishing a gift this week if I can find time to get it done)
  • Continue to work on rearranging kitchen/pantry areas.
  • Get up earlier if possible to work on things before the kids get up (every SINGLE time I make this goal my son doesn't sleep and puts an end to the idea, but we'll see how it goes).
  • Make erbswurst and pretzels for husband's birthday.  Oh and cake, of course *laugh*.
  • Make a menu plan.  I have slacked off on this and the indecision on what to have is driving me nuts in the evening.
And there you have it folks.  My goals for this week.  How about you?


  1. Your sewing room looks so great. It makes me feel ashamed for the mess mine is in. I don't have a room but just a small area at the top of the stairs but I love it. I can work then just get up and walk away. At our other house I had to drag everything out and put it on the kitchen table and make sure I did not drop a single needle for a little one to find. Your area looks so inviting. I like the picture. I remember when patterns were all $1.50. So long ago.
    Now on to garden stuff. Today is July 25th and it is time to get started on the fall garden. When is your first frost date? Mine is October 15th. There are so many quick growing summer vegetables you can still grow right now. I am printing my whole list for people that live in other parts of the country. I know you would not be interested in all of them.
    Green Beans (40 to 60 days)
    Chinese vegetables, Bok choi (30 days)
    Lettuce (start cutting leaves at about 30 days)
    purple hull peas (6 weeks)
    snow peas (60 days)
    English peas (60 days)
    Radish, cherry belle (30 days)
    Spinach (4 to 6 weeks)
    yellow squash (70 days)
    baby carrots (30 days)
    green onions (begin eating the tops after 3 to 4 weeks)
    Kale (start picking leaves at 40 days)
    Cucumbers (start harvesting at about 50 to 70 days)
    Turnips (begin harvesting tops at 40 days)
    I would suggest you do a few things. First try planting more pea seeds in the middle of the plants you have growing now. Take a pencil and make a hole a few inches in front or between the plants that are growing now. Don't damage the roots of the growing plants. Drop a seed down in the hole and the new plant will start growing up the vine of the old plant. About the time the old plants are finished and start to die, the new plants will be able to take over. You won't have to put up new support because it is already there. English peas like cool weather so they will continue to grow after cold weather.
    Next I would suggest planting bush green beans. You still have time to get in a harvest before cold weather. You don't have time for a pole bean because they take longer.
    A yellow or zucchini squash could go into one of your planters. Since you have so much sun right now it would grow real fast and when cold weather hits, you could bring it in at night. I know your cat would love it but it would just be for a little while until the days got cold. It would be fun to try.
    You said you had planted some Chinese vegetables. I would suggest trying the one called Tyfon. It grows REAL FAST.
    Plant more carrot seeds. The cold weather won't hurt them so get them started now and they can get big before bad weather.
    Happy Birthday to your husband!

    1. Our first frost date is August 24th to September 9th, depending on what resource you use.

      Thanks for the advice and the list. I am planning on planting more turnips, beets and carrots this week and I'll look and see if I have the Tyfon seeds you mentioned (I ended up with a lot of "mystery seeds" in the bottom of the envelope you sent as the little envelopes leaked, so some of the Chinese veggie envelopes were pretty empty. It'll lead to a "mystery patch" in the garden next year :). I talked to my husband and I think we might just get a roll of plastic and use some wood from around here to make a mini green house to encompass the garden if we get an early frost and/or snow like we did last year. That should help to keep the plants happy for a bit longer and hopefully will help the garden to continue to produce longer. I also saw that our local produce stand has garlic in (if their pictures can be trusted ;) and I'm going to stop by and get a few heads of garlic to plant in the garden as well. I am doubting my garlic is going to get very big the way it is acting, probably due to not being rated to grow up here, so I want to get a good type that will grow in my climate for next year.

    2. Oh and don't feel bad about your sewing area. Mine isn't a room either, but actually a corner of our den. So far the den is our video storage area, our library, entertaining room, my husband's office (he does work on my sewing table when he needs to do paperwork *laugh*) and a sewing and craft room. It serves a lot of functions for one room :).

      I relate to the sewing on the kitchen table as well. I did that for YEARS. I remember giving out home made gifts to family and saying, "If there's a straight line on this it's because my kids didn't help with it." Both of the kids were obsessed with crawling under the kitchen table and pressing my foot on the sewing pedal all the way to the floor. I got good at speed sewing *laugh*.

    3. Hi Jeannie,
      Thanks for your list. Our frost date is the end of October. Two years ago we had 10 inches of snow on Halloween and then some Indian Summer. Dorothy

    4. Wow. Your first frost date is so early but it sounds like you are right on schedule to start your fall garden now. So sorry about the seeds falling out of the packets. Guess I need to add more glue next time. My father would always have a mystery garden. He would take all the seed packets and throw them out in the garden to, “See what would come up.” Then he would try and guess what they were. It drove me crazy but it was fun to him.
      Have you tried elephant garlic? It is all I plant. It gets the size of a baseball. I hate having to chop up little pieces of garlic bulbs. Yes I am lazy. I run them through the food processor with olive oil then put it in the refrigerator in a glass jar. It keeps forever and is ready when I need it. I got my garlic at Wal-mart years ago and have been replanting it ever since.

      Dorothy, it sounds like you are a little further south than I. You could have a wonderful winter garden.

  2. I love your new sewing/fabric storage area. And the collage is very creative and fun to look at. We are currently on vacation so no projects going on here. But I did a bunch of food prep before we left. Now we can save money by eating in the condo we are staying at instead of spending a lot going out to eat. And since I precooked and froze several meals I don't have to spend so much time in the kitchen while on vacation!! We did do a bunch of projects before we left: my husband trimmed one or our trees with a long tree trimmer I got for $5 at a yard sale. I fixed my husbands hiking boots with a heavy duty glue gun I borrowed from a friend, I set up sprinklers for the garden to keep it going till we get back, altered a long sleeved T to wear on vacation, harvested a bunch of kale for the house/pet sitter to feed to the rabbits, put away ALL the laundry!!! The heat index is in triple digits at home. We are so grateful to be in the mountains were it is a bit cooler. The guys went fishing and brought home some nice bass and pickerel for me to clean. They tasted so good!!

    1. If your husband's hiking boots don't hold up with the glue gun fix, check around your local stores for a product called "Shoe Goo". That stuff is awesome and will fix pretty much any shoe problem, I swear. I've reattached soles galore with it, managed to revitalize waterproofing on boots (it does darken the color of the material if you paint it on, though) and tons of other things. Great stuff :).

      I envy the "all the laundry put away" line. I managed to get all of the laundry sorted and put away and, of course, then my son toasted through all of his bedding, I've got piles of things from the camper to wash...etc etc. Laundry. It grows as you watch *laugh*.

      Wow. Bass. I haven't had bass in years. Yum! Growing up in Maine I was like a block from a lake my entire childhood so fishing was a necessary part of summer for me. For a good amount of that time all of us kids in town used to go down and try to catch a couple of the giant bass that were in the lake. I hooked one a couple of times and it would always break my line. I think that bass got bigger every time we'd tell the stories of how it got away ;).

    2. Thanks, I'll keep the Shoe Goo in mind if the other glue fails.

  3. What a lovely space for sewing and crafting! All the colors look pretty when you line them up in your organizer. I am happy you can use the fabric to make more beautiful things.

  4. Your sewing area looks really nice.

  5. I was admiring all the beautiful fabric in the storage shelf before I read your post. Looks like you should be able to do lots of lovely sewing project with it. That was so kind of Heather to gift you with fabric. What an amazing blessing! I also love your collage you made. What a great way to preserve those antique pieces and display them nicely!

    I actually have some things that need doing this week. I have 6 bunches of broccoli and a bunch of green and waxed beans in the fridge that need to be blanched and frozen. If I get a chance, I might also try to get some jam canned as well...if I can tolerate heating up the house for a little longer. I'll play this by ear.

    I had planned on using the corn husks, from some corn on the cob I bought recently, to make those cute angels you blogged about earlier. Unfortunately, my mother decided to husk all the corn and throw out the husks, despite me telling her I had plans for them. She just couldn't understand why I'd want to do something like that. When I expressed my frustration, she went on a little pout about how she thought she was helping me by husking the corn, and "oh, you'll probably buy more corn anyways". Needless to say, I'm not very happy!

    Anyways, I hope your husband has a wonderful birthday. Have a great week, Erika!

  6. Ericka your sewing corner looks so nice.I hope to get something to organize mine someday. Happy birthday to your husband. I read that Annabell
    on Blue birds are nesting makes part of her jam in the micro.Maybe that would help with not heating the house so much. I may try it.
    Last week you were asking about stuff for slugs. Saw dust,broken egg shells,Dieatamatious SP? Earth. All these will help. Also a beer trap
    bury a swallow dish even with the ground put in beer the slugs go in because they like yeast and do not make it out. Have a blessed week.

    1. I paid $10 fpr a shaker bottle of Sluggo on amazon, it lasted two years and now our slugs are very few. Seriously saved my strawberries

  7. Hi Erika,
    Love your sewing nook and the collage. As for me, keeping up with the garden and food preservation are at the top of the goals list. After that, if anything else gets done, it will be a bonus:) I was talking to someone yesterday who uses wild evening primrose to control bugs and aphids. She said the only downside is that you have to keep up with them as when they reseed they pop up everywhere. Dorothy