Sunday, October 8, 2017

Monthly Goals: October 2017

This was one of those posts where I had a hard time with completing it because every time I thought I had it pegged down I found another thing I needed to get done.  It was an "ugh" type of situation for sure.

October, historically, has been the month where I start with a kind of subconscious panic about Christmas being imminent and trying to press the accelerator of motivation to get Christmas gifts done on top of everything else I need to get done.  This year I actually have a kind of soul deep relief, if that makes sense, after deciding not to do Christmas for everybody in the extended family.  I already warned my mom, with how things have been so hectic with Alvah and just life in general (trying to get used to the husband's new schedule, no money, etc) that I MIGHT get the gifts for her and my siblings done by Christmas, but I might not make it (my family back East is always super generous with us every Christmas and I've had to just punt on gift giving for them for years because of lack of funds and time).  My mom's reaction?  "Eh, been there.  Done that.  Don't worry about it.  Aim for a year from Christmas and we'll be fine."  *Laugh* my mom has her moments I have to say :). 

I AM hoping to get the pillow cases for my sisters and mom (half sisters and bonus mom/step mom are getting other gifts if I can find time to make them :) done this month, if nothing else, so that the next couple of months I can focus on my husband and kids.   I think I can make it.  I have faith *holds up pointer finger toward the sky with back straight with a sense of purpose* AND I have a plan for the embroidery for some of them, which helps.

So, yeah there is that to get done.  Then there is sauerkraut to can this month, probably next week.  A pantry to gut and redo so that I can find everything and it just plain works better (I have cans just stacked willy nilly in the pantry right now and it's driving me absolutely nuts) and cleaning and winter preparations that need to just plain get done this time of year.

And then there is Halloween.  I sat down and thought of Halloween and realized that I go overboard every year with the candy.  I mean we JUST started to finish up the Tootsie Pops that were left over from last year...or was it the year before...I can't even say anymore.  Needless to say I just end up buying too much candy, especially since we get like no trick-or-treaters every year.  So, this year I plan on picking up one small bag of Tootsie pops and one small bag of Smarties (both are peanut free and big hits with the kids) and past that I'm just going to make some treats.

Normally this time of year I try and stock up on peanut free treats for the son (since it's the one time of year we have money to really DO it) and so I went onto my favorite nut free chocolate site to see about ordering some chocolate melts to make chocolates for the kids and maybe get some crisp candy bars (since I have to avoid Nestle like the plague with the peanut allergy,, even though the husband loves them).  I found that not only had the price gone up on the melts and things, but the shipping had also gone up, so if I ordered the few things I wanted to get I would have been paying out 10+ dollars per pound for chocolate after the shipping.  I just couldn't do it.  I even got to the last screen before confirmation and had a pep talk with myself telling myself that I wouldn't be able to make chocolates without the chocolate melts (I can't get any that are safe locally) and I STILL couldn't do it.  Shelling out nearly 40.00 for a small amount of just wasn't going to happen. 

So, I came up with a back up plan.  I went to the store Friday and when I got the small amount of things I needed to get for 5.00 Friday and things, I also stopped by the baking isle and got some Guitard chocolate chips (made in a certified peanut free facility).  They aren't cheap, but for 4.00 (about) per 12 oz bag it was definitely cheaper than the nut free site.  And then I grabbed a small box of Rice Krispies (since we don't have much in the way of cereal in the house anymore) and some Kraft caramels.  So, yeah, I'm going to try my hand at making Crisp bars myself (sure I'll have to store them in the freezer or they'll melt, but I don't care at this point...they are one of my husband's favorites) and then make some other treats for Halloween for the family and call it good.  I'm kind of stepping outside of my "melt chocolate, pour into molds, let sit and pop out, done" comfort zone, but darned it the materials I picked up were under around 10.00 for everything, so yeah...I can make it work!

So far with Halloween I have gotten cookies done and pumpkin fudge, so hey at least I am off to a decent start :).  I only have speech therapy this week to get through (thank goodness) in the way of appointments, so I will at least have a couple of free days to get some of my goals worked on.

So, onto the goals list! 

Cleaning/Organizing Goals:
  • Gut pantry, put cans in flats with other like items (I'm just going to cut down cardboard boxes I have to make this more efficient and cheaper) and stack up in the pantry to work better.
  • Rebuild the wooden shelves in the pantry that are in the den (the ones in the den have just gotten buried and they just really don't look right out there, and I could use the shelves in the pantry to help organize things, so yeah...they're going back).
  • Clean master bedroom (this becomes a strategic nightmare with my husband's schedule now a days) really well, get heater cleaned out well and ready to be fired up for the winter (it's getting COLD in there at night).
  • Work on organizing the master bedroom closet and getting it clean.  The husband tried to clean the closet and never got time to get close to finished.  We'll just leave it at that.
  • Organize the hallway closet somehow so it just works better (the way it is now is just not working for me, but I'm still trying to figure out a way to improve it...I'll get there).
  • Get desk cleaned off and organized again and maybe move it into the den (depending on how well I can get the den cleaned and organized).
  • Defrost big freezer and get meat put away in it in, hopefully, an orderly fashion.
  • Clean out fridge freezer and figure out all of what is in there and figure out what needs to be used up. 
  • Mulch garden (I consider this "garden clean up in preparation for next Spring"...I planted seeds for a lot of different cold hardy crops, but not much sprouted, so I'm thinking the garden might just be done for the year at this point).
  • Clean garage with husband (so I don't misplace things so he can't find them) and set up mouse traps in corner of garage.  We actually have, I think, a vole in the garage does not have good eye sight as it'll come out in daylight and doesn't seem to realize that humans are nearby.  The cat, who I have been putting out there and leading him to the corner where the rodent is, rubs his scent everywhere when he goes out there, but doesn't really care to hunt the little blighter, so I'll probably have to do a contained trap that the cat can't get hurt in and place it over the corner to take care of it instead.

Sewing Goals:
  • Just work on last month's list since I got none of it really DONE last month.  There.  Done typing that.  That was easy *laugh*.

Canning Goals:
  • Can sauerkraut
  • Can peach jelly from juice in freezer
  • Gather up jar rings and other supplies and put them away for the year.

Christmas Goals:
  • Work on getting the gifts done for family back East.
  • Work on some of the easier gifts for husband and kids for Christmas (like handkerchiefs)

Halloween Goals:
  • Make treats (and figure out a schedule in which to make them so am not overly stressed about it)
  • Buy Halloween candy (minimum amount needed)
  • Dig out special Halloween discs to watch (we have cartoons we burned to disc for the kids to watch come Halloween and we are still trying to figure out where my husband put them)
  • Try to figure out where the light up, plug in jack-o-lanterns disappeared to (one of those, "Man they are pretty big, where in the HECK could I have stuck them?" moments) so we have them to plug in on Halloween.
  • Buy Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin (Done.  Got that as part of my, "Majorly awesome, will be lucky if I can EVER recreate such a supremely stupendous shopping trip" event *laugh*.  It's in the pantry.  I am going to wash over it with a bleach and water solution that my farm and food group on Facebook suggested to stop the pumpkin from rotting before Halloween as Jack O' Lantern pumpkins up here are well...they usually rot...they don't have great staying power for sure).

And yeah...that's the important goals for this month (believe it or not I have sub-lists worked out for this's going to be busy).  How about you?  Got anything going on this month?


  1. I have a lot of social things already booked for this month but I also have a few goals to accomplish.
    I am buying some new metal shelving that will actually go in the dining room. I have a very small kitchen so the dining room needs to be put to more use than normal. This means a trip to IKEA (hopefully tomorrow) followed by a good clean out of the kitchen. The pantry is already clean and organized, but I may rearrange a few things after the shelving is sorted.
    I also need to get the summer clothes swapped out for the fall/winter ones. It has been a very warm Sept. & Oct. but it looks as though the weather will finally change as of this Wednesday. At the moment I'm retired so casual clothes take precedence, although I hope to get some part-time work in the new year so I have office clothes set aside and ready to go.
    I have actually started Christmas shopping and I'd like to be finished all of that by mid-November. I don't buy a lot now but it's a relief to know it's finished.
    I've done a lot of purging and cleaning this past year but I've let those last few jobs slide over the past couple of months so I need to finish off that work. My goal is to have it all done by the end of November. November is a quieter month for other obligations/events so I plan on sticking closer to home and completing all those little odds & end jobs.
    Today is Cdn. Thanksgiving and I have friends coming for a late lunch so the apt. is clean, the table is set and the food is either cooked or prepped so not too much to do and then there will be lots of leftovers for the rest of the week.
    Good luck with all your preparations.

  2. Did you try and Google home made candy bar recipes? Take advantage of someone else's hard work so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

  3. If I can figure out how to post, I just wanted to say that you always do an amazing job! I’m in awe of your abilities!
    My aim this month is to fill the pantry so I can (sort of) skate through Winter since my Summer job is ending. That, and go through the Christmas gifts I already have and decide if I need any more. My husband hasn’t been bought for nor his parents. Those are fairly easy, though.

  4. I plan to work more during October than I did during September, and that means extra weekend work. (This check is going to be seriously small and I'd like the next one to be more like normal, but it's hard to do when the kids I work with are in school). So, my month will be busy. I want to finish up any canning/freezing, etc. that I need to do and put the canning things away for the winter. I want to keep using the frozen and canned things I've put up and cook a little more creatively. (I tend to cook the same things over and over)

  5. I've pretty much finished stocking my pantry and freezers this month. Since I live in Canada, we had our Thanksgiving on the 9th. Because of that, I managed to get some deals on various kinds of roasts to tuck away in the freezer. This year I purchased a couple of fresh turkeys and butchered them. We prefer the white meat, so I kept the wings and breasts and made stock from the carcasses. I packaged the dark meat in individual freezer bags, and gave it away to an elderly neighbour who, not only hates white meat, but finds a turkey too much for her to eat by herself. So that was a win/win for both of us. With the vegetables being cheaper lately, I continued to blanch and freeze what was on sale. 'Tis the season for apples, so I froze bags of slices to make apple crisps throughout the winter - my husbands favourite dessert. Also will make some apple pies to freeze, and will can small jars of apple butter. Then my canning is officially done for the year. Hurray! Because I heavily stocked up on cheaper pantry and freezer items, I'll only be purchasing what I'm running low on, like milk. The rest we'll eat from the pantry.

    Like you, Christmas shopping is on the agenda as well. You've inspired me to make some homemade gifts, and my girls are on board with the idea too. One has already started planning her sewing ideas.

    Organizing the house, both inside and out is also a must this month, although we seem to be having more company pop by as of late, as well as being scheduled until the end of the month, so I'm not sure how much we'll get accomplished because of that.

    Lastly, my nephew is allergic to nuts. My sister-in-law makes Mars Bars Rice Krispie Squares, which are really, really good. If you google "mars bars rice krispie squares" a ton of recipes will pop up. Maybe it's a treat you'd like to try.