Monday, July 18, 2016

Monthy Goals Update and This Week's Goals

Sorry I didn't post this yesterday, but I've been super busy with the garden and the house, all the while battling the heat that continues to bake us.  Today isn't as bad because it's at least cloudy outside, but yesterday was terribly hot.  So, a lot of my canning goals from last week are getting transferred onto this week.

I actually got a lot accomplished off of my list last week.  I started to clean out the camper of blankets and things to wash them as we found that the mouse problem was worse than my husband at first thought.  Anything pretty much that wasn't elevated and out of reach of little paws has mouse droppings on it, blankets and foam mattress pads were nested's a mess.  So, this week is going to be seeing me going out either after my husband gets home from work or before the kids wake up (so really early) and vacuuming, shampooing and setting up mouse traps (Our cats are woosies.  I tried putting them out in the camper and our older cat just refused to do anything and our younger cat freaked out, found a corner to shove herself into and mewed like she was dying for 45 minutes until I bodily dragged her out of the camper.  Ugh).  Then my husband is going to move the camper to the end of the driveway instead of where it's parked against a bank, to see if we can dislodge and/or just get rid of the buggers.

I got some rat tailed radishes canned last week (seen above, again.  I have a lack of photos the last couple of days *laugh*) and have harvested a ton more radishes.  I finally took stock of what I had for pickles, how many radishes we've eaten in salad and such and I finally decided I need the space in the garden more than I need more radishes at this point.  I've let a few radishes go to seed so I have the seeds to replenish what I used (which actually I ended up ahead since I only planted two seeds) and I'll be ripping the radish plant out this week, amending the soil and preparing to seed some turnips and beets in that bed.  The red lettuce is bolting.  I let a couple of plants go to see if they'd seed for me but they didn't so I'm thinking that it is a hybrid plant that doesn't go to seed, which is fine.  I'll rip out the remaining plants and once again get it ready for fall/winter planting.

I'll be watching the chard and the potatoes carefully over the next bit as the potato plant has gone to flower and died off, so I need to start watching for signs that it might be ready to harvest.  The garlic will also need to be watched as it should be getting close to harvest time sometime soon as well.  So, when it comes to garlic goals for this week it's just going to revolve around harvesting peas (which are going insane now), harvest lettuce as needed (which I also have lettuce coming out my ears right now), digging my one potato planter up on my deck (two of three offshoots of the plant are dying off.  It's time) and just keeping my eye on everything after I plant seeds.

I got the upstairs about 80% shampooed yesterday.  Today I'm hoping to get my son's room shampooed, but he also has speech today, so I'm not sure if I'm going to get a chance to do it.  If not it's on the list for tomorrow along with cleaning the downstairs as today ripping everything out of the freezer downstairs and reorganizing takes precedence so I can get things put away properly.

I did get the den about 80% detail cleaned and am hoping to get more of that done this week.  I got the spots on the carpet cleaned that needed it due to the cat and I've been checking hidey holes daily.

I got one Christmas gift made, another one in the works (that one is going to take a while) and some plans in the works as well, so I feel like I'm trucking right along with that.

Thrift store donations were dropped off last week as well.  It's amazing how getting rid of things that you're tripping over will make you feel good.

By the way menu plans the last two weeks have haven't happened.  I've just been too busy, distracted and the weather too volatile to get them done.  This week with the heat I'm just keeping an open mind and figuring that worse comes to worse I might be grilling dinner a lot (we went and grabbed a tank of propane yesterday with how hot it was, knowing grilling was our only option for a hot dinner and we were all kind of tired of just eating salad for dinner.  Cost 12.00 to fill it, which my husband and I were both impressed with how cheap it was as the last time we got propane it was when gas was REALLY expensive and it cost us close to 40.00 to fill a tank.  So, we're looking at MAYBE getting the back up propane tank filled in the next little bit so we know we have it in case we need it for things).

So, onto this week's goals!

Garden/Yard Goals
  • Harvest ripe rose hips (I'm about 80% done with that one, at least the hips that are ripe now...there are still green ones I'm keeping my eye on.  I still need to hack my way up the bank to get to ones that are a bit buried.  Actually opened up a bit of the yard while getting to the rose hips too, so double bonus there!).
  • Get rid of dead fish in the middle of the back yard (I have no idea.  It was just there this morning.  Freaked me out when I found it as it was KIND of odd you know?  We need to dig a hole and bury it out in the wooded part of the yard this afternoon to avoid attracting unwanted animals to the area.  Of all the dead animals to just find in your yard that one just blew my mind.  Just a whole dead fish, not even any tooth marks from an animal on it...nothing.  My husband is figuring it was dropped by an Eagle.  I'm wondering if it just dropped out of the sky for the sake of funny *laugh*).
  • Rip out plants in garden.  Amend soil.  Plant beet and turnip seeds and maybe more Chinese cabbage seeds.
  • Continue to pick small amounts of raspberries from around the yard as they ripen.  Same with the rose hips.  Harvest other garden produce as needed.

Canning/Food Preservation Goals:

  • Can rat tailed radish relish (this is a definitely needs to happen thing, hopefully when the colder weather moves in a little later in the week, otherwise I'm going to have to get up early and do it).
  • Get husband to install new dial on pressure canner (I've had it for a while and keep forgetting to have him do it).
  • Blanch and freeze first batch of peas.
  • Dehydrate more herbs (finished that up this morning.  Crushed them up and put them in containers).
  • Can rhubarb and cherries if weather and time permits.

Cleaning Goals:
  • Shampoo rest of the carpets
  • Clean ceiling fans.
  • Wash walls in son's room to see if it helps allergies(his face is swelling again the last three days and he's welting unless I keep him on high amounts of Zyrtec and Atorax every eight hours.  I'm praying that allergy med gets approved because if this is happening WHILE on the amount of meds he's on now, he's just plain not going to make it through allergy shots.  Depressing for sure).
  •  Continue to work on cleaning up motor home.

General Goals:
  • Clean out and rearrange freezer(s)
  • Put things that got stuck into the front of the pantry, but belong in other areas where they need to be.
  • Work on cleaning out and scrubbing out fridge.

And yeah, I'm sure there are other things on my "lists" that I'm spacing, but that's a good start.  How about you?  Up to anything this week?


  1. I have a zillion to dos, summer break just makes the house a disaster. I swear. And I thought I have trouble even halfway staying on top of things during the school year.

    About 2 weeks ago, someone from Nielson (that tv show surveying company) asked if for $5 I'd be willing to write down what we watch for a week. I said sure, and today in the mail came a logbook, and $5 cash! So starting Thursday, every 24 hours for a week we log what's on TV that we watch, and who watches it and if we don't watch at all. Should be interesting.

    Today I noticed our upstairs AC wasn't blowing cold, and that would explain why the last two nights have been really rough for us all. My husband used to do AC repairs in college, so he was able to replace a part, but he said the main part has a bluge he's worried about, plus it's lower on coolant, and so only working about 80% capacity. It's 13 years old, so prob due for some repairs, but I'm hoping not a whole system worth thousands and thousands. He's planning to keep an eye on it over the next few weeks and see if it is stable, or gets worse.

    My strawberries have been producing like crazy, the first time since they were planted 3 years ago. But the weeds are just as bad, so I need to get in this week and try again to get those done.

    My family makes laundry like McDonalds makes fries...all the freaking time. I swear, two or three loads a day and it still isn't enough.

    Tomorrow's my husbands birthday, so going to use a birthday freebie coupon, and go in the late afternoon when kids eat free, but he's not said what sort of desert he wants, so I'm hoping it's not some sort of it's 2pm and at 5pm I want a huge elaborate thing that will take 6 hours to make.

    I'm also hoping to track down someone I bought something from, and paypal paid, I had a bad vibe, and started to back out, but talked myself back into it, and now, no hide nor hair. At least, it's covered if they skip out, I hope, but I'm not sure. I used my credit card at least. It was $30 so I'm kind of mad. But trying to give the benefit of the doubt, since this only took place Thursday. Next time, listening to my instincts and not worrying about offending someone.

    1. File a dispute claim with Paypal. They'll contact the seller, threaten to pull their ability to sell if they don't settle and so forth. If they don't hear from them at all they'll just reimburse you either way. I've had to use the service a few times, actually, when I bought something. Sorry you have to go through that :(.

  2. Plan on blueberry picking again tomorrow with my daughter. As long as we go early it won't be too hot and the bugs will be few. I need to stop at a farm store for help with my tomatoes. Some have black rot in the bottom and I need to stop this now. Cheryl

    1. Ha! Your comment totally speaks to me. I am having problems with hornets swarming all over my front planters picking off slugs to a point I don't want to go near the swarm to harvest the rest of my herbs. So I look online and they always say, "Wait until dark" and I'm like, "Great. So, wait until October? That's not going to work!" *Laugh*

  3. You amaze me. I love reading your blog. Do you have A/C in your home? I am sorry it's been so hot! 😧

    1. We have a window unit that we stick in the kitchen and then we use a system of fans (which would require a flow chart with zig zaggy lines going in all directions to figure out) to keep the cool air moving through the house. It is working okay, but I keep worrying about coolant levels and things since we got the sucker VERY used last year and it's gotta be 20 years old or so. So far, though, so good!

  4. My goal this week is to keep ahead of the garden produce. I just read another use for zucchini. It seems that it can be dehydrated, made into a powder and then used as an extender in things like meatloaf or as a thickener in soups. Also it can be made into mock applesauce and applebutter. Sooner or later the freezer needs reorganization, as do the pantry shelves, and I need to create some more food storage room. I've been like Scarlet O'Hara too long. "Fiddle dee dee. Tomorrow is another day."

    Since the wildflowers for jam won't be so readily available, have you considered making rosemary-thyme jam from your herbs. It's delicious and goes great on any kind of poultry sandwich or just as a different condiment to cook with for pork.

    1. I haven't had any luck with herb jellies. I've made them before, but no one in the family likes them (except me).

      I think I'll be okay overall. I took inventory of the jellies and I still have a decent amount of wildflower jelly (I like to use it as the alternating layer in a layer cake. Tastes like summer in the middle of winter :) and I have mint jelly left as well, which is good because then I can dry the mint to use in tea over winter. My mother-in-law says that I can harvest her raspberries as soon as they are ready to harvest as well (she has a domestic breed that ripens later than my wild variety), so I can make raspberry jam and I'll have strawberry jam and preserves as well, so I think, overall, I'll be alright. I'd normally be worried as I like the wildflower jelly as a means to get more vitamin C in our diets over winter when produce goes downhill in nutrition and quality, but I am getting rose hips this year, which are WAY higher in vitamin C, so that'll definitely help and apple season isn't officially kicking off yet, so hopefully I'll be able to get more apple sauce canned come fall.

      Right so now that I've just gone off on a food preservation tangent in short I think we'll be okay *laugh*.

  5. I continue to learn new things all the time from your blog. I had no idea it got hot in Alaska. How hot has it been and do you have humidity there?

    1. Well *laugh* heat is relative. Up here it hits 80 and we swear we're in the center of the sun.

      The last three years the summers were awful for heat. We had temps into the 90's on a regular basis, the entire state was pretty much on fire and you just baked. This summer we are having a different problem in that we are having temps in the upper 70's and sometimes up to the mid 80's but with 80% or higher humidity because we've actually been getting rain in between the hot spells. Having acclimated to Alaska the last 15 years I am so not equipped to handle humidity anymore, although I've always hated it (probably because Maine wasn't exactly humid either). So, this summer has been mighty uncomfortable for us. And my poor son just doesn't handle severe changes in temperature well, so once it goes above 70 the kiddo starts to suffer and not want to step outside.

      On the other end of the spectrum, however, when it hits 40 outside you'll see all Alaskans pretty much outside with t-shirts on enjoying the warm weather *laugh*.