Cafe au Lait Dahlia 2 The Prudent Homemaker

With so many fruits ripe in the garden all at once (which are normally spread out from June through August) my first priority is to take care of the fruit in the garden. I need to cover grapes from the birds, pick apricots, peaches, and grapes. I’ll also be canning.

Because so much has been ripening at once, and because life has a way of changing what has to be done, I still haven’t been able to sew dresses for myself. Last month I sewed a blouse for Elsa (a super-quick project) and sewed a couple dozen merit badges on the boys’ sashes. This month, I really hope to get the dresses done–but the fruit will come first, as ripe fruit does not wait.

I’m also struggling to get out in the garden to fix some drip lines that need to be redone. It’s so hot that I find it best to go out between 5 and 6:30 am (the coolest time of day; I got out once at that time last week, when it was 92º out) or go out between 7:30 and 8:00 pm, as the sun is setting and right after. Going out during these times has been tricky with a baby; it always is! So these items are still on my to-do list.




1. Can grape juice

2. Can peaches

3. Can grapes, if I have enough ripe that we can’t eat them in time

4. Can cranberry juice, with the cranberries I froze back in November for this purpose

5. Make peach pie

6. Make popsicles and smoothies

7. Cook a turkey from the freezer



1. Sew dresses for myself. I want one of these to be a dressy one to wear to Octavius’ blessing 

2. Sew blessing outfit for Octavius. The one I made previously that my other two boys wore for their blessing has long sleeves and is lined. I’d like to make a short-sleeved linen/cotton blend outfit for him using the same pattern.



1. Cover grapes with paper bags to keep them from the birds while they’re ripening

2. Pick apricots

3. Pick peaches

4. Cut grapes

5. Weed the garden

6. Mend and replace several old drip lines; add new lines where needed

7. Plant seeds where they haven’t come up

8. Tidy the garden


What are your goals for July?

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  1. Hello Brandy and all 🙂 , and for the month of July our goals are –

    Kitchen and garden –

    – Blanch and freeze a batch every second day to process more of either our 30 odd kg of cured sweet potatoes and 36 cured pumpkins sitting under our house to prevent waste. 12 already done, one more batch of smaller pumpkins to process and then we shall move onto blanching and freezing our sweet potatoes.

    – Weed a vegetable bed a day when we go out into the garden. 2 of 6 garden beds in back yard and paddocks done.

    – Amend the soil in a large area in one garden with manures and cut back parsley and dig out the roots of old plants getting it ready for planting.

    – Plant some climbing peas and beans in the gardens for succession planting. We planted one crop of each a week or so ago.

    – Mow and weed the lawns. Mowing is done.

    – Cut some more firewood from a friends farm to top up our supplies on the veranda. Waiting for a friend to come back from holidays so we can cut the firewood from his property.

    – Continue to save for our home with cash by being frugal. Made 2 deposits so far this month.

    – Continue to water the house lawns with saved grey water from the washing machine and showers. So far we have been doing this as water is available and when it hasn’t rained.

    – Cook more from scratch and make a premix to make pancakes, muffins and biscuits I have a recipe for. Premix made and in the fridge.

    Tax paperwork –

    – Finish adding up the deductions to have them ready for the tax accountant to save money on them doing it and adding extra fees on for extra time taken.

    Sewing –

    – Catch up on 3 – 4 more sets of 4pce curtain tiebacks sold in my internet stores.

    – Make some more 5 layer cotton eye masks.

    – Work on making some curtains from a new unused quilt cover for the toilet and laundry to replace temporary ones in there and get the curtain rods out of the garage to hang them on.

  2. Our school district starts early, so the month of July is our last month of vacation. We’re scheduling in some fun like the sprinkler park, hiking, and ice cream, but I am also working a few shifts and finishing up the last few weeks in this session for grad school. Most of my chores are related to my blog, the second website I just set up, and editing and rewrites of a nursing textbook I am collaborating on for my professional organization. I have been up for hours after the kids are in bed working on those things.

    For the house, I need to do my every 6 months trip to Sam’s, weed out all the 2T sizes for our toddler and pass them on to a friend, and pack up most of the kids’ toys and put them in the basement as “Mom’s Toy Library”. We are decreasing the stimulation and the clutter, and making them choose one or two toys to play with, then they must bring it back to the library so they can check out another one.

  3. Good luck keeping up with all of that ripe fruit! I’m sure your helpers will come in handy for that job.

    My goals for July mostly consist of getting our goats and lambs ready for the county fair.

    I’m trying to play catch up on some much needed cleaning. I’m also decluttering and setting up a yard sale.

    It’s a top priority to me to get our kids learning how to swim this summer, so I’m putting a lot of time in at the pool.

    I also need to get ahead on my blog work so that I can be away for fair week without causing too much change in schedule for my readers.

    Hope you have a great month!

  4. * keep up on the garden and preserve anything that comes ripe.
    * Find a new part time job
    * Get the “easier” trailer cushions and curtains done so it can be put up for sale quickly.
    * Find some cheap foam for the cushions of the more involved trailer flip.
    * See our daughter at the camp where she is working for the summer.
    * Finish moving dirt into the blueberry bed and start building another box for the blackberries I just found growing.
    * Chip the rest of the branches and use the mulch in the garden.
    * Figure out how to come up with some cash to buy some Arborvitae bushes for the fence line. We live in front of a trailer park that has a very wide “buffer zone” that all of us property owners were told could never be built on…….now they are pushing to get that changed and want to put in trailers almost right up to the homes property lines. And I have poultry I’m not supposed to have soooo I need to get things planted in front of the chainlink fence to block anyone’s sight line to our yards.
    * Cover another couch cushion with the vinyl and buy another drop cloth to make a slip cover for it.

  5. Goals for July:
    -brown ground beef and freeze for quick dinners. DONE!
    -make double batch of muffins and pancakes for freezer
    -make 4 other freezer meals
    -do the next Konmari assignment to declutter our house before packing
    -pack at least one box per week
    -look for user furniture for our new home

  6. My goals for this month are to continue to reduce our food waste by making sure we use all leftovers and eat from the freezer. I got a 13 lb. turkey from a neighbor who was moving and cleaning out her freezer. She also gave us about 10 chicken legs. This month I’ll cook and shred the turkey to use in the fall when our new baby comes and meals need to be easy! This month I’ll also make a few dozen muffins with some free raspberries we picked, also for the freezer. I’ll continue to put money aside this month for our “baby fund” for newborn diapers and some long sleeve white onesies. And new carseats for all our kids. We have a small car and will need to be able to fit all three children in the back seat. It’ll be cheaper to buy new, slimmer carseats for them than a new car. I need to continue doing research and figure out what kind of carseats would be best.

  7. That’s a one of a kind dahlia! I have seen tulips that are half one color and have another, which also looks so odd. 🙂

    I make lists of daily tasks, but I don’t generally write down goals for the month. But it’s a good idea.
    Here are my goals for July:
    – Finish making jam. I just want to make a couple batches of apricot jam, and then I will be done. I used up all my half pint jars, so I will need to get some more. I saw them for BOGO at our local Kroger store (QFC). Hopefully that sale is still going on.
    – All the produce is early this year, so possibly purchase tomatoes and can them. Usually this is an August/September task, but I’ll see what they have at the farmers market. Also, chop and freeze peppers if they are early too.
    – Move large items in our dining/living room area for condo window replacement project. This involves moving our small chest freezer, two bookcases, the dining room table, the TV and the TV stand. We plan on giving away our very large and heavy TV and purchasing a new one so we don’t have to move it twice (the TV is still functional, but it’s about 15 years old so we can’t hook it up to the computer or other more modern electronics). We don’t know the exact timing of the project because the construction company is starting on another building in our complex first. Probably end of July/early August.
    – Maintain garden as needed. Plant a few flowers and possibly some fall vegetables as space becomes free. The garlic has been harvested already, and my peas will probably be done in a couple of weeks.
    – If the weather improves, go to the beach once or twice on one of my days off.
    – Visit two museum exhibitions with my husband.
    – Write two more articles for the community garden newsletter.
    – Forage for plums/apples/hazelnuts, if ripe.
    – Make garlic braids from my garlic, once it has cured.

  8. Lorna, do you have backup power (like a generator) to run your freezer if your power goes out so you don’t lose all the food you’ve frozen? We have had multi-day power outages where I live, and I lost everything in my freezer once. I live in a condo so a generator is not an option. I was just wondering if you have similar outages in Australia, and if so, how you deal with them.

  9. I don’t expect to get much done in July — I am away for a week at a conference, and the last week of the month we’ll have company.
    My sewing machine quit, so I never got the dress and skirt made that I wanted to. It should be repaired by next week, but I doubt I’ll have time to sew — probably need to put this on the August list.
    Keep up with the garden — most stuff won’t be ready until August.
    Cut wood — we have two cords so far and need two more, so would like to get one more of those this month.
    Organize my canning supplies and clean out the freezer in preparation for the lion’s share of work in August and September.

  10. My goals are;
    Start the big home improvement project which includes building a shade structure outside so we can sit in the summer.
    Re-do my one large bedroom so two of my boys can live there together, I need to make room in the nursery for the new baby so the “old” baby has to move into a big boy room. This means figuring out what to do with the smaller beds they have now to save them for the next two coming along who will be in cribs for the next few years. (My husband wants to sell them and rebuy them when we need but they are great quality and I bought them used for a song so I would love to store them.) I will reuse the twin mattresses that I got from an uncles estate when he passed away. These were in the guest room and had never been slept in and were still in the plastic!
    Brandy I’m guessing you move kids around all the time to make room for a new child or growing child.
    Plant the unused space in my garden beds.
    Buy or build a new compost structure, the tumbler I got for free from my dad finally broke for good. Any suggestions?
    Prepare for the upcoming year on the pta as the “garden mom” I will be organizing the curriculum for all the grades k-6 and helping the room parents follow it.
    Do a better job at meal planning based on what is in the garden or fridge. I have been throwing away leftovers which I hate to do.

  11. Good luck with hiding the poultry !! Hopefully bureaucracy runs slow and the trailer park expansion holds off for months, years even.

  12. Hi Tina and no we have no generator as yet, we shall be working on that in the new year as finances permit.

    We rarely have power blackouts here because we are on the same electricity line as the local hospital but they still do happen but only for a short time. Close by we have friends who have solar power and are off grid with large freezers that we could move our supplies into as well.

    We also have backup of fresh vegetables in the gardens at all times as well should everything go south.

  13. My goals for July are simple. Try to earn enough money between my husband and I to continue to pay all the bills on time. I will have $160.00 for the rest of July to buy groceries including meat, and non-food items for 4 adults and a child. I will meal plan in detail as much as possible. I did not have money to get supplies and/or seeds to plant a garden this year, but my sister is generous enough to share with us when she has extra. I plan to get some cabbage and fry it and freeze it for cabbage and noodles later. I have whole tomatoes still in the freezer from last year so I would like to thaw those and can salsa. My two oldest sons are looking for jobs with no luck so far so praying on that every day. I will continue to try and not get discouraged (this blog helps tremendously). We are debt free except for our mtg. but we are trying to live without using credit at all and so far it has been difficult. I will make some more homemade cleaners and laundry detergent and also fajita mix. I also will continue to organize, clean and de-clutter, specifically towels and blankets. I have a few things I could sell on ebay or Craigslist, so my goal is to learn how to do that.

  14. We were hiking yesterday on a trail in our neighborhood and I heard chickens — such a lovely sounds. We traced them to a house that backs up to the trail. We’re not supposed to have them in this neighborhood (against restrictions) but I’ll never tell.

  15. My biggest GOAL this month has been to get the doll clothes done as much as is possible. I went to Walmart last night to make a return and noticed the school supplies being loaded on the shelves and the prices were great. I had a ‘gift card’ as I had misplaced one of the receipts so I used it to get what I needed. I got several (25) folders to put my doll patterns in. I am using a lot of free patterns I got off the internet and make 2 copies of the actual patter pieces. I use a 3 hole punch to put the pattern and directions in the folder and make a copy of the pattern pieces on cardboard (card stock) and put holes in the pieces to secure the patterns to use over and over. I make many uses of these patterns and the folders make it easy to keep track of the pattern and directions.

    My other goal is to finish the kitchen relining of the cupboards and getting rid of some plastic pieces I have held on to. (we are getting all plastic out of our kitchen. My last few pieces are ready to be donated.

    I am feeling kind of sick. I had a really bad reaction to my iron infusion today. Made me very sick, gave me hives, and my body is swollen. I know it will go away soon, but right now I feel just kind of YUCKY. Hope it passes soon.

    Made plans to buy 1/4 beef today. Need to get the deep freezer defrosted and ready for the meat by Saturday. (next week)

    Made a large batch of peanut butter cookies. I froze a lot of them for use this month. I made extra ‘dough’ and rolled it into balls to bake another day.

    Made a batch of fabric softener sheets/sponges from an idea from pinterest. So far they work great on the few things I put into the dryer. I use vinegar on things I hang outside. We have very hard water in our area. The vinegar works to keep the laundry from being board stiff when it comes off the line.

    I also need to fix some extra new covers for the Swiffer. Mine are worn out. I found a pattern to make extra Swiffer dusting covers from old flannel shirts. (again pattern off the internet)

  16. Cindy,

    You may want to try some local Facebook garage sale pages as well for selling household items. I find I can get more for items selling them that way than I can from a regular garage sale, and it can be a great tool in addition to Craig’s list, especially for smaller items. Our city is big–no one wants to drive across town for a small item–but a local, smaller area Facebook group might just buy the item.

    Do you have a place for a garden? What zone are you in? I can share some seeds with you.

  17. Brandi,
    I’m a long-time lurker and admirer. My sister even drives me by to see your front garden when I visit her in Vegas :-). What finally pulled me out of hiding: when I saw the comment about a couple of dozen merit badges. I was doing the same for my youngest before he left to be a counselor at camp last week and he said, “Mom, why don’t you hot glue those on the sash instead?” Of course, it sounded scandalous and I resisted for 20 seconds. It is SO MUCH EASIER! 🙂 Since the sash is typically kept and not passed down, no need to worry about removing the badges at some point. I was afraid the glue would show through or that they would fall off, but so far, so good. 🙂 Plus, it’s easier to glue them back on a couple of times (if it should come to that, which it won’t!) than so match and buy the thread and sew them on even once. It was the potential cost of the different colors of thread that convinced me to try it.

  18. He actually likes to rearrange his merit badges on his sash 😀 He sewed them on before and this time he started sewing them on again in a different pattern that he wanted. I finished them up for him, but I imagine he’ll want to change them up again.

    They have iron-on stuff on the back–he started to iron them, but I stopped him. I said it wouldn’t work so well when he wanted to change them again, as it leaves quite a bit of goo behind on the fabric. If you’re not washing the sash the iron-on stuff holds fairly well, but not so well in the wash.

    I just sewed them on with two colors–grey and green (the outside colors). I actually have a ton of different colors of thread; I think my grandmother owned thread in every shade in the rainbow (certainly every shade of purple!) and I inherited all of her thread. Chances are always good that I have something in any shade I need–or pretty close to it.

  19. I appreciate the offer, but I think this year I want to “wing it” and see how well I do buying locally, in season inexpensively. Also, the local farmers every Summer have a day that they bring extra produce to a central place and whoever wants it can take it. I watch for the notice in the newspaper at work. I will try to put something up for sale on Facebook and see how that goes. Thank you.

  20. Brandy,

    I have been reading and being inspired by your blog since late 2012. I just wanted to let you know that your photography skills just keep improving, I always love the photos on your blog…no matter the subject. Keep it up!

  21. Roxie, I made some of those Swiffer covers, too! I just give them a little spray of water and they work great. I thought of making a few for my thrifty friends for Christmas. Maybe a set of 3.

  22. I use monofilament thread in the top and a contrasting color in the bobbin to sew on Boy and Girl Scout badges and patches. The contrasting color (like white or red) in the bobbin makes it easy to see the stitches on the back/inside of the scout garment when it comes time to pick out the stitching and the clear monofilament not only matches everything, it doesn’t show if your stitching isn’t perfect!

  23. My July goals are simple.
    -finish the house purge. We are going through every nook and cranny in the house and ridding ourselves of everything we don’t use. We plan on having a September garage sale when the weather cools a bit. It’s amazing what two people can accumulate!
    -Reorganize my craft room. I changed the furniture around some and now there’s a lot of junk on the floor needing a new home. It’s time to start on Christmas cards and gifts and I don’t want to work in a sty!
    -Embroider a set of 2 kitchen towels for a gift. Herbs. Rosemary and Mint are the iron ons I used. I love Aunt Martha’s!

  24. We are currently storing a twin bed frame/headboard and some of the parts to a bunk bed underneath our bed in the master bedroom. We’ve also stored the disassembled crib under there in the past. I hope you find space to store the items!

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