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Goals for February

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



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Tagged in: Goals


  • Margaret @approachingfood February 06, 2017

    Wow, talk about goal-setting! I don't know how you do everything you do, but if anyone can achieve this list, it's you, Brandy!

    My own goals include:
    - combining existing soil from the pots on my balcony with a bag of soil that I bought, and adding in peat from peat pellets that I tried to grow lettuce in. I figure that once I mix all that together, the soil should be quite good and enough to start my (big) plans for this summer's balcony garden
    - plant lettuce seeds in a greenhouse tray (indoors, obvs, as I'm in Canada), and finally grow some lettuce! I've tried growing lettuce in pots outside last summer (didn't work, I assumed because the soil was too poor), then I tried growing lettuce in peat pellets inside (didn't work, and because I'm changing variables one at a time to figure out the issue, I think it was the $ store seeds that were the issue), so now I'm trying new lettuce seeds from a reputable company. If it doesn't work this time, I'm throwing my hands up and going to ask a horticulturalist at a local garden store what to do. But I think it will work with new seeds! I WILL grow lettuce, by golly!
    - buy a metal rack to put on my balcony. The one I have in mind is from IKEA so it's affordable, and because it has solid metal shelving, rain pouring onto my unocovered balcony from the condo roof several stories above won't be able to kill all my plants as it used to, and people dropping cigarettes won't be able to contaminate my plants or set the furniture on fire (which has happened).
    - set up a contact/work with me page, and also a 'ethics/promise to readers' page
    - find another link up to join each week. Any suggestions for one with a good readership?
    - continue to go back through old posts and add in text via picmonkey
    - read up on boardbooster and implement a plan
    - read up on convertkit and start to set up a email system (i.e. intro emails, etc.)
    - deep clean something else, like behind my fridge or underneath the kitchen sink (I cleaned behind my stove last week, which was very satisfying)
    - figure out a gift for my mum for her 70th b-day
    - find the perfect recipe for shortbread cookies (request by my mum for her birthday, as opposed to cake)
    - figure out gift for the DH for Valentine's Day, that is big on thoughtfulness and also inexpensive. And isn't food, as he's trying to watch his weight. He's a hard one to think of gifts for!

    And once I add in my day job, my usual blogging, and my usual household and family stuff, I think that's enough for the month!

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 06, 2017


    A couple of ideas, because I am having some lettuce issues as well, and htye tend to be these same two problems:

    1. Are you planting too deep? Lettuce needs to be barely covered with soil.
    2. Are your seeds drying out? Wind and heat are problems for me with this here; yours could be wind or another reason.

  • Margaret @approachingfood February 06, 2017

    Thanks, Brandy! I'm definitely going to keep your tips in mind. I'm pretty sure that my current problems were due to weird seeds, as they sprouted and grew into long, stringy NON-lettuce type sprouts...and then died. I'm hoping that once I use the good quality seeds that I purchased, proper lettuce will sprout. The only other variable that I can think of is that it might be too cold in my condo; but my other indoor plants are thriving, so it can't be all that cold. I usually have a green(-ish) thumb, so this is frustrating...but I will persevere! Thanks for your help! :)

  • Libby February 08, 2017

    In my limited experience what you have is "leggy" lettuce which I think means not enough sun and light. Good luck!

  • Margaret @approachingfood February 09, 2017

    Yes! I just Googled that and that's exactly the issue! Thanks, Libby! I will try again and keep the tray of seedlings by a south-facing window. I also read that a fan aimed at the seedlings for a few hours a day will cause the plants to release chemicals to thicken the stems because the plant is trying to withstand the "wind". So pleased to know what went wrong. Now, to fix it! :)

  • juls Owings February 07, 2017

    can also be the type of lettuce...leaf vs butterhead vs romaine vs iceberg... Leaf is usually the easiest. I have luck with romaine but the heads are smaller. It only needs 6 hrs of sun but can grow in shade. I have planted mine under the trellis of cucumber (have trellis leaning against something so there is a shady area under it) Dad did tepee for his pole beans and had the lettuce in the middle with radishes and turnips.With containers I bottom( sit pot in water in a shallow pan)and let it absorb the water water daily when the temps get above 75.

  • Margaret @approachingfood February 07, 2017

    Good to know -- thanks, Juls!

  • Margaret @approachingfood February 06, 2017

    Tee hee hee, those ARE cute! Neither of us are beer drinkers, but I can see myself putting something similar on gingerbeer bottles. Thanks, Renee!

  • Elizabeth M. February 06, 2017

    The perfect recipe for shortbread cookies is from the Canada Cornstarch box. You can google it -- it is widely reproduced. I roll the dough into balls, and flatten them with my hands. I add a piece of pecan to the top of each cookie.

    Don't cook them too long. I'bve also never had any success making large batches - its better to make multiple small batches.

  • Margaret @approachingfood February 06, 2017

    Canada Cornstarch -- awesome! Cornstarch would indeed make shortbread light, airy, and crumbly. Thanks for the recipe referral and tips, Elizabeth! I'll definitely test it out. :)

  • Suzanne February 12, 2017

    I don't have a recipe for shortbread cookies off-hand, but authentic recipes call for rice flour as one of the ingredients. It gives the cookie that lovely, grainy texture. Maybe that can help you narrow your recipe search! :)

  • Margaret @approachingfood February 26, 2017

    Thanks, Suzanne! That never would have occurred to me, I'll have to look into that further!

  • MB February 06, 2017

    RE:Planting asparagus. We lived for many years in a neighborhood that had been built in the 1960's on land that had been farmed since the 1880's. There was an empty lot behind our house. The first Spring we lived there, the kids came tumbling into the house one afternoon with fresh asparagus! It had been planted by the farm family all those years ago and still came up, just a little, every year. We ate it happily. Asparagus is one of those foods you MIGHT be planting for folks to eat a hundred year from now - which is pretty frugal.

  • Patty from the NW February 06, 2017

    Good Morning Brandy,

    Love the work you are doing in your garden and replacing with sod. We will need to do this to our yard as well soon. Where do you buy your sod? Last year we bought from Home Depot, and it didn't last. 60's and 70's sounds pleasant to be working in the yard~ Enjoy :)

    We have a few inches of snow from the storm that came through last evening. It is very pretty. I plan to stay home with the fire going today and read and make a warm soup for tonight's dinner. Some of our friends are without power near our home, so I will make enough for them should they want to come over today and stay warm.

    Have a wonderful week~ I always look forward to your weekly updates~ You inspire me!
    Blessings~ Patty from the NW

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 06, 2017

    I bought the sod from the local nursery.

  • juls Owings February 06, 2017

    WOW what a to do list. Hubby is trying to lose weight and not doing so good. He watches what he he puts it in his mouth. LOL I did get him to sign up to a free class at his work's wellness center to help kickstart him to into eating healthier (not sneaking sweets when I am not around or looking) and exercising more as he won't walk with the dogs or me or ride the exercise bike that is sitting right here.
    Still too cold here to work in the gardens but I am planning them and have my seeds bought.

  • Julie February 06, 2017

    I too have been trying to be conscientious about my eating habits etc. I found a very good book at the library that has very sensible advice on losing weight. It is geared towards athletes but so much of it is applicable to everyone. It is called "Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance " by Matt Fitzgerald. It doesn't advocate a fad diet and also doesn't advocate starving yourself either. It is very much about making sure you fuel your body well for the activities you want to do.

  • Melissa V February 08, 2017

    This is the book that competitive rowers are recommended - We have it since our daughter was rowing at the national level and was struggling with getting a good racing weight to compete and our son maintained his light weight status thru his senior year in highschool - and promptly put 10 POUNDS on his first weekend that he was free to eat what he wanted and as much as he wanted - there are t-shirts for rowers that say "don't feed the lightweights" - it is like wrestling and is not exactly the best thing for growing kids but it was his choice. It is a very good, informative book. I am donating ours to the high school rowing team this spring so they have it available to other highly competitive kids.

  • Shara February 06, 2017

    Wow, your garden will keep you busy!

    We aren't past our freeze stage and are supposed to have night time temps in the 20's later this week.

    I've got some sewing to do, too. I want to make four placemats. I have the pattern (free online) and the fabric from my stash. I just need to plan it in. However, I have a birthday present, crocheting project, I have to get finished before the end of the month.

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