Monday, August 15, 2016

Monthly Goals Update and This Week's Goals

So, so tired.  First day of school is over, though, so yay!

When it came to goals last week, not a whole lot on the list got done.  We got through the week with my husband gone, so I consider that to be the biggest goal we all met last week. 

I did get rose hip syrup canned and canned raspberry jam (not on the original list, but good none the less).  I didn't get anything done on Christmas gifts last week, unfortunately as my son was just demanding too much of my time.  I did get the cabbage dehydrated and I did harvest, blanch and freeze more peas. 

The biggest project I ended up taking one was moving a lot of my dehydrated goods from downstairs in the pantry and moving them upstairs.  It's so humid in the pantry that some of the dehydrated items actually became too moist, rehydrated and molded on me, so I made sure my vacuum seals were still good on as many jars as I could and moved them up where it is dryer for now.  When the weather starts to cool down more and the rain evens out a bit more weather-wise, I'll probably move the jars back downstairs, but for now my kitchen is lacking in natural light (one window and it is blocked up by the air conditioner) and is a LOT dryer than the pantry, so I figured it was best (the pantry houses my well pump, so it's normally pretty humid in there).

I decided to go with a "country farmhouse kitchen" type of look to go with the jars that were going to have to sit out on top of my cabinets (lack of cabinets in kitchen as it's really small).  So, I put some jars of beans and things up on top of the cabinets as well.  I think it came out looking pretty good actually.

So, this week's goals are going to be kind of all over the place as I have a lot to get done.  So, let's get to it!

Cleaning Goals:
  • Shampoo carpet in son's room (this needs it bad)
  • Change bedding on the beds

Sewing Goals:
  • Work on Christmas Gifts

Canning/Preserving Goals:
  • Can strawberry preserves (if time permits)
  • Blanch and freeze veggies (more on that later) 
  • Dehydrate celery

General Goals:
  • Rearrange freezers to be more organized.
  • Work on just getting caught up on everything around the house so that life will be easier by the end of the week.   
 So, there you go folks.  My (timid) goals for the week (so tired I'm having a bit of a time remembering them all).  How about you?  Anything planned?


  1. Hi Erica,
    Why so tired this week? Kids not sleeping?

    1. Kid not sleeping, really busy, not sleeping well when I do sleep as the weather has been SO humid you kind of stick to the sheets. I've never dealt well with humidity. I'm REALLY tired today. Son decided to stay up till 6am and we're up at 7am, probably to try and get out of school today. Thank goodness the school is so close, cause it ain't gonna work. Hopefully he makes it through school okay today, though.

  2. I have to come up with a plan for a small, 3 day, family trip. We were supposed to go on a ghost hunting trip at a museum (through Autism Ontario), but unfortunately it was cancelled. We've already booked the time off, so we are free to take a trip wherever we'd like as long as it isn't too expensive and close enough that we can do it within the 3 days. Not as easy as you might think!

    I also need to do some grocery shopping this week. I have to do it on a different day than I normally go, because of the trip. It's throwing me off, but I'll get it figured out. I have a 25lb box of peaches ($13 for the box!) on order that will come in next Monday. So next week I will be busy canning peaches and peach jam around working full time.

    Finally getting rain, though, so at least our well shouldn't run dry on us (finger's, toes and eyes crossed). Good luck with your goals and have a nice week, Erika!

    1. Bummer about the trip and I hope inspiration strikes for you on something else to do. My husband and I are just trying to find time to go on a day trip to Whittier with the kids hopefully this weekend so that they can check it out. Whittier is built in such a place that you can only get to it by driving through a GIANT tunnel. It's so huge that they only let cars drive through once every hour to allow the exhaust to vent before letting the next batch of cars through. My husband thinks the kids will find it cool. I'm hoping my daughter doesn't get too claustrophobic going through it and I worry about over stimulating the son with all the lights and differences in dimness vs. brighter outside lights, but we'll see how it goes. I tend to over worry on these things out of habit with the necessary helicopter parenting, so it's hard for me to do my husband's, "It'll be fine. Don't worry about it" mentality. Even though, honestly, he's right a lot of the time in the end (although I do take some of the credit for making sure a lot of the things that could go wrong were handled before we left the house since I'm paranoid).

      Super happy to hear you guys are getting rain. That's great news :). And what a deal on peaches!!! That's a great price! Was it a sale at a local store, a farmer's market find? If I could run into peaches that cheap I'd definitely buy more =D.

    2. One of the local chain grocery stores offers to do special orders each summer on some fruits and veggies that people often can/reserve (1/2 bushels of Roma tomatoes and bell peppers were also available). You have to call the store and put in your order.

      The peaches are 2nds and I was pre-warned that they may have bad spots, could be very ripe when we get them and will be odd shapes (big, small and in-between). He said he warns people as sometimes the boxes have a lot of bad peaches, which they cannot control, and some have complained. I may have to do the canning after I come home from work, if they are really ripe. My mom has been instructed to sort through after she picks them up on Monday to see what we ended up with. This is the first time we've ordered like this, so I only bought one box to try for this year. If we are happy with what we get, I may get more next year.

    3. Ah, gotcha! That's like what I get from Bushes and Bunches (our local produce stand) when they have cases of fruit. Like the cherries I got.

      Be sure to tell your mom not to throw aside any peaches with bad spots though. I remember a couple of years ago I got a couple of cases of seconds like that of these weird shaped peaches (they look kinda flattened in shape) for really cheap (like 10.00 per case or something). I just happened to stumble on them. So, I got them home, cut away any bad peach and canned the rest. BEST canned peaches I've ever had! They were so sweet and so yummy!!! I'm having flash backs here *laugh*. Anyway, good luck with the peaches! I hope you get a ton of good ones :).

    4. The peaches with bad spots are perfect for making peach jam. I just remove the bad spots and crush up the fruit. While I was in the States a couple years ago, I bought a peach slicer. We used it last year and it worked great for getting nice evenly cut slices for the canned sliced peaches. However it does leave a lot of peach on the pit. We just removed the rest and used it to make jam as well. I LOVE peach jam, so not a problem for me!

    5. Rhonda, be sure to save the pits to make peach pit jelly or tea. It is really interesting.

  3. I think that was a terribly clever was to display your jars of food!!

    You mentioned you need to make strawberry jam. All season once we got tired of them, Ive just been hullling my strawberries and tossing them into freezer bags. Do you think frozen berries wohld be ok for jam?

    Its been crazy here. I have been asked to take on an additional church calling thats going to be time consuming in addition to my Primary calling and all of the other stuff I have to get sone, but unfortunately it is a position I think I would be good at and hopefully bring forth some good changes so I accepted.

    Are you familiar with the Harry Potter book or movie where Hermonie has that time turner thing? I think we could each use one of those!!

    1. *Laugh* there are many, MANY days I wish for a time turner, but then I realize that I'd probably screw up, see myself and go insane ;).

      You can DEFINITELY use frozen berries to make jam. I do it all the time and with things like fresh raspberries, honestly I can't think of another way that would work better. Just measure out your berries frozen for the recipe you are going to make, defrost them in the fridge (or if you're not that patient, like me, just put them on a burner on loooowww heat and let them defrost that way, stirring occasionally, until they are nice and soft and ready to work with). I have sixteen cups of strawberries separated into 8 cup portions in the freezer right now in preparation of making them into preserves one bag at a time. I am not in a huge hurry to do it, but the bags keep dropping on my feet when I open the freezer, so I keep thinking about getting it done so it's out of the way *laugh*.

      Good luck with all of your additional callings and things you're juggling!

  4. You forgot to add "take a nap" on your to-do list!

    1. I tried to take a nap today. I swear it's a universal conspiracy that as soon as my head hits the pillow something happens to get me up. The UPS guy showed up with my Land's End order one time today and then my mom, who NEVER calls me, called me and talked to me for an hour. I finally gave up, got another couple cups of coffee down me and cleaned the house *laugh*.

  5. Hope today finds you having gotten more rest. Your school starts really early. I think this month is my busiest what with canning and dehydrating etc. I was able to get 40 pounds of summer apple seconds for $8. I'm so glad I have one of those handcrank apple peelers and corers. I think most are headed to the dehydrator as I can rehydrate and make applesauce or pies with them later. I'm thinking that's the easiest thing to do timewise. I also need to go into the garage and see if I can rustle up some pint canning jars. The trip to Whittier sounds like a great adventure going through the tunnel. I hope you and your family have fun doing it.

  6. I'll bet you end up using those things in jars, like dry beans, more often because they are in sight. Sometimes I forget about things if they are buried too deep. They look pretty, too. I love things like that in jars.

    I understand how it is to get interrupted on the rare occasions I try to nap--it always happens to me, too. But, hopefully, you can get a little rest each day until you get caught up a bit.

    I also understand completely the concept of doing many, many things to avoid the meltdowns before they happen. It doesn't always work, for me, but I have avoided many a meltdown over the years with proper "pre-planning" and doing certain actions, saying certain words, etc., that don't set certain children off or soothe them down before they get too far into it. So, I get it! I hope this trip works well for you and your son will enjoy himself, thus allowing all of you to enjoy yourselves more.

  7. Yeah! You made it through your husband being gone for a week! You survived, took care of the kids without killing either one of them and that is success! I home schooled my boys and my goals were simple. By the time they entered college I wanted to achieve three things without killing them. First I wanted them to be Christians, have a love of learning and be potty trained. Everyday I would tell myself, I have until they leave for college to make it.
    Now I have a question, how do you use your dehydrated cabbage? I have made kale chips before (smeared with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt then dried) but it seemed labor intensive for the small amount got.
    I also wanted to share about lemon grass. A few years ago I purchased a piece of lemon grass from the grocery. I put it in water until it sprouted which took about two weeks. When warm weather came, I planted it in the garden where it grew to about 2 ½ feet tall. Right before the first hard frost, I cut it to the ground, dried it and dug up a few of the shoots. I put them in a cup of water and sat them in the window in my laundry room. They managed to stay alive all winter. Almost no sunlight and just water. They did look pitiful but no one ever saw them. Come spring I planted them back in the garden and started the process all over again. I use the dried leaves for tea. It is wonderful. I have tried it on a few recipes but hubby balked at it.
    I like the way your jars look up on top of your cabinets. That is really quite a bit of storage space up there.
    Oh, and I do want you to tally up all the new things you have added to your pantry that you did not have year. There have been so many things you are doing that I think it will be a surprise. You can't count green beans. Every year I seem to try at least one or two new things. Last year I canned peach pie filling, apple butter and apple sauce. This year it will be frozen cantaloupe as my new experiment.

    1. I studied the dehydrated cabbage thing and from what I get you can add it to soups and casseroles straight and it'll rehydrate as it cooks, but you can also soak it, rehydrate it and use it fresh. I decided to give it a shot as I love cabbage, but the nutritional value just isn't there over the winter up here, so I know drying it will keep the nutritional profile in tact. I'm going to experiment with it this winter and see if it'll make decent cole slaw and things. I can't see why it wouldn't, really. One small head of cabbage got me a quart jar full of dehydrated, so I have to say it was more of a pay off than dehydrating kale was *laugh*.

      I'll definitely try the lemon grass in tea, thanks! Sounds good to me :).

      I am planning a pantry post here in the next few weeks just to show how it has changed from last year. I think it's kind of neat seeing how things evolve over time.

      Good point on surviving the week too. Honestly I think that is part of the reason I'm so wiped out this week is just from surviving last week *laugh*.

    2. Hmm. I think I will try dehydrating some.