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Goals for February

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Sod The Prudent Homemaker

It's a short month, and I've got a ton to do!

Last month the baby cut his first teeth, and wanted to be held all the time. I didn't manage to get any sewing projects from last month done, and now most of those will have to wait until March.

In addition, we had a lot of rain (for which I am very grateful!) and also a lot of wind. I didn't finish pruning the trees, so I need to prune and spray dormant oil (rather quickly, as the buds are close to opening!) 

Our last frost date is February 15th, which makes February our busy spring planting time.

I've made the decision to remove most, if not all, of my espaliered apple trees. Despite reading that the varieties I chose did well in hot areas, most have not flowered. In addition, they have decided to grow away from the wall, and are taking up precious space in the center of the garden bed. This is an additional plan I've made to my original plans for the garden for the year, but it's one I've been debating for several years. Removing them will allow me to plant something else there, making for a more productive garden.

The weather is beautiful (in the 60's and 70's!) so working outside is a pleasure.

 

Garden Goals:

1. Replace sod in a few areas in the garden

2. Manure lawn (spread manure with manure spreader and rake it in)

3. Finish pruning fruit trees

4. Spray fruit trees, bushes, and vines

5. Fertilize fruit trees, roses, and berry bushes

6. Plant seeds in the garden every week for food and flowers

7. Repair leaks in the drip lines

8. Purchase more asparagus plants for the garden

9. Purchase tomato plants 

10. Cement column in the garden

11. Use Liquid Nails to attach garden urn to column

12. Plant roses when they arrive (the replacements from the ones that didn't make it last year)

13. Run new drip lines in areas where the old lines need to be replaced

14. Remove espaliered apple trees

15. Remove grass that is growing in garden beds

 

Sewing Goals:

1. Make birthday presents for two daughters

2. Embroider new labels for towels

 

Personal Goals:

1. Lose 4 pounds. I know it's a short month, but I also know that if I'm diligent with watching what I eat, I can achieve this goal. The semi-annual garage sale I go to is April 8th, and I want to be at my goal weight by then so that I can buy clothes for myself in a new size.

2. Study French every day

3. Watch some videos to learn new things

4. Read 2 books on French culture: The Bonjour Effect and Bringing up Bébé, both of which I requested from the library

 

 

Tagged in: Goals
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Snowdrop The Prudent Homemaker

Spring has arrived, and it is lovely.

I planted seeds in the garden for leeks, parsley, lettuce, and radishes.

We harvested Swiss chard and beet greens from the garden for meals almost every day. 

I used two $5 off coupons at the nursery. I bought another Katy apricot tree (which was on sale) and I bought some sod to repair some places in the grass that died last year.

I accepted two hand-me-down cardigans from my mom.

I learned new expressions and words in French from Pinterest. You can find my French Pinterest board here.

I used Duolingo to strengthen my French skills.

I picked up two library books that I had requested.

My husband and I had two date nights at home.

My husband mended my broken metal Kitchen Aid whisk attachment by welding the broken part.

I enjoyed being outside while working in the lovely spring weather. I took several moments to pause and listen to the birds that were singing in the garden.

The beautiful weather has meant a start to garage sale season. My mom went to several sales and brought back a few things for my family that were on my list, including a blue and white vase. Once they added in everything they were buying and renegotiated the price, the vase was essentially free! I've put in on a shelf in the library for now to enjoy without flowers in it.

 

What did you do to save money and find joy this past week?

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February's Grocery Shopping Plans

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February Radish The Prudent Homemaker

I'm grateful for the opportunity last month of not shopping to empty the fridge and work on clearing out the freezers. The freezers still have quite a bit left in them and I always strive to keep the pantry full; there is plenty there still. 

This month we'll work on eating more of the fruit from the freezers and pantry (as well as meat from the freezer). This will give me some space to stock up on some meat sales. There's already a great one starting today (whole chickens for $0.57 a pound!) so I'm glad that we've been eating from the freezer.

The seedlings in the garden slowed down their growth quite a bit when we had a frost and a cold week just recently, but the weather is warming and by February 10th it should be in the low 70ºs ( 22ºC). I'm experimenting with planting more seeds earlier than usual, going by the soil temperature rather than dates, with the hopes of a good harvest before it gets too hot for plants to flower in the summer.

We still have lots of beet greens and Swiss chard that we're harvesting several times a week, lemons on the trees, and various herbs that are ready. By the end of the month, I hope to begin to harvest a lot more from the garden!

 

Here's what's on my list:

 

Sam's Club:

Mozzarella cheese

Flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

Pinto beans

Almonds

Chocolate chips

Toilet paper

Goat Cheese

Feta Cheese

Ketchup

Tomato sauce

Eggs

 

Winco:

Milk

Plain Greek Yogurt (to use as a starter to make more yogurt)

Spreadable Margarine

Sour cream

Garlic

Potatoes

Carrots

Broccoli

Onions

Possibly other produce depending on prices; they have sales but no ads, so I'll see what prices are when I get there.

 

Alberston's:

whole chickens ($0.57 a pound)

avocados (medium ones are the jaw-dropping price of 3 for $1, with a limit of 6)

frozen petite peas 

 

Vons:

Boneless pork loin $1.79/lb

Raspberries (on sale for 0.99 for 6 ounces, which is incredibly low; limit 4)

avocados (medium 3 for $1, limit 6)

 

Target:

Diapers (There is an in-ad coupon that will give you a $25 Target gift card if you spend $100 on baby items. I'll buy 4 boxes of diapers).

Oxi-clean spray refill

 

I love having a full enough pantry that I can wait for the amazing sales and only stock up at the lowest prices!

My budget for this month is $400.

Arugula The Prudent Homemaker

 Arugula (Rocket) 

 

 

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
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Chocolate Crepe Cake The Prudent Homemaker

A stack of chocolate crepes for a birthday breakfast

 

I sowed seeds for beets, arugula, spinach, larkspur, and New Zealand Spinach. 

I cut rosemary, Swiss chard, beet greens, arugula, and chocolate mint (pictured above) from the garden. 

We received more rain, which meant I didn't have to turn on the sprinklers. I used rainwater I collected in buckets to water potted plants.

I cooked a large pot of beans in the crockpot and used them to make pasta e fagioli and white bean dip.

I practiced my French by watching videos in French on You Tube, using Duolingo, using a French/English dictionary, and reading French learning blogs.

We went to the library. I checked out some magazines, a movie (one we've seen before, but it's in Frech, and I want to listen again) and the children got some books.

What did you do to save money and find joy this past week?

 

Note: For the chocolate crepes, I added 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to my regular crepes recipe.

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Flowering Cabbage The Prudent Homemaker

In the garden this week, I planted seeds for lettuce, turnips, and flowers.

I harvested Swiss chard, beet greens, oregano, rosemary, and parsley from the garden.

We received some rain this week. In the past month, we've had some rain almost every week, and it's been enough each time to actually water the garden, so I've been able to keep from watering the grass  except for once (this time of year we're allowed one assigned day per week) and have only turned on the drip a couple of times by hand to keep my seeds wet enough to (hopefully!) germinate. I'm happy to see that water levels for Lake Mead (where we get our water) are higher than last year at this time from the rain, and I'm hoping with the rain predicted to come tomorrow that we'll see it grow even more. I'm grateful each time I don't need to water and also grateful that the rain is helping the lake rise.

I put out buckets to collect rainwater from the roof. I'll use these to water potted plants.

I gave my husband, one son, and one daughter each a haircut.

I enjoyed a video call to friends in France this week. It still amazes me that we can call without a per minute charge like what would happen on the telephone and that we can see each other, too! 

Completely by accident while looking up some information about something we had discussed, I found two new-to-me French learning sites. I spent a lot of time on them and especially enjoyed learning some new sayings (here and here).

I also learned several new French words, simply by looking up several in the dictionary to help our Facebook messenger conversations that we had both prior to and after our video call.

I made a double batch of laundry soap.

I redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to Amazon.

I continued to cook from the freezers and pantry.

 

What did you do to save money and find joy this week?

 

 

 

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Iceberg Roses In January Detail The Prudent Homemaker

It was a busy week in the garden.

I picked lemons from the garden.

I cut Swiss chard and beet greens from the garden.

I pruned my iceberg roses and brought all of the roses inside to enjoy.

White Pigeon in the garden The Prudent Homemaker

I dug a few more small bushes that I started last year by tip layering and moved them to other places in the garden.

I planted seeds for lettuce, leeks, larkspur, white strawberries, sunflowers, zucchini, and nasturtiums.

Iceberg Roses in January The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money and find joy this past week?

 

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