White Garden in Early October The Prudent Homemaker

I have several things to do this month that are going to take a lot of  time, so I have decided to write them as monthly goals rather than weekly goals.

I’d like to put both the house and garden in order, as well as work on several projects.



1. Plant fall garden

2. Cut and dry herbs

3. Prune hedges in backyard

4. Pull all weeds

5. Find two possible leaks in the garden and have Cyrus repair them

6. Continue to prune grape vines back to eradicate caterpillar infestation

7. Transplant several plants

8. Cut back burned alpine strawberry plants. The sun burns these every year, but for several months of the year this part of the garden is in full shade. I’ll plant new seeds and cut back burned parts. As temperatures cool, the plants will start to flower again.

9. Fertilize fruit trees

10. Fertilize roses. As the temperatures cool they will bloom again.

11. Reseed bare patches in the lawn towards the end of the month. At this time I will also manure the lawn to help it stay a deeper green in fall and winter.

12. Pick Thai peppers as they ripen

White Rose The Prudent Homemaker



1. Wash the front of all kitchen cabinets, stove/oven, range hood and dishwasher

2. Clean refrigerator

3. Organize/change out outgrown children’s clothing (a major project)

4. Organize pantry (another major project)

5. Clean wood furniture with Murphy’s oil soap

6. Clean laundry room

7. Organize sewing room (a gigantic project)



1. Trip to the nursery (local readers, there was a $10 off $50 coupon for Star Nursery that came in Saturday’s Val Pak in the mail. The nursery is stocked with fall garden plants, and fruit trees tend to go on sale this month.) Ads are posted online for their stores in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, and usually run Fridays through Wednesdays.

2. Trip to Winco (later in the month)

3. Trip to purchase some seasonal produce (I’ll have to wait to see who has the best sale prices)

4. Trip to the library

5. Trip to Target (when I go will depend on sales)

6. Possible seed order(s) online depending on if I end up short when planting or decide to plant anything new

7. Trip to Costco

8. Place order from San Francisco Herb Company

9. Go to community garage sale with my list

10. Attend a few other garage sales if I don’t find everything on my list

11. Trip to Lowe’s

12. Trip to Macy’s (maybe; I am going to watch the ads for a good sale on the item I need)

13. Pick up photos



1. Sew two aprons for myself

2. Sew 5 new pillows

3. Sew a dress for myself

4. Mend at least 10 items


Non-Sewing Projects:

1. Make a curtain rod from electrical conduit and hang it in the library

2. Iron and hang a pair of hand-me down curtains to hang in the library

3. Take new photos of the children to hang above the table

4. Take silhouette pictures of the children and make silhouettes to hang

5. Take/choose two images to hang in my bathroom in some frames I bought at a garage sale earlier this year


Personal Goals:

1. Exercise 4 days a week (walking, bike ride, exercise video or gardening)

2. Read scriptures every day

3. Attend the temple twice this month 

4. Date out with my husband using a free meal coupon

5. Weekly at-home dates with my husband


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  1. Hello Brandy! My husband and I just bought a new home and I have been scrubbing kitchen cabinets. I don’t think they have been washed in 20 years or more! The most frustrating part is near the cook top where grease must be three inches thick on the fronts. Any good tips for what to scrub with? I initially used some baking soda but it makes for a huge powdery mess. I think I’d rather organize the kids closets, pantry and sewing room over scrubbing cupboards!
    Thanks for sharing your goals, it will be a busy month!!

  2. Dish soap, and a plastic scraper (like the kind you use to clean non-stick pans, or a spatula). I have grease issues too around the stove on the cabinets and the dish soap works well for that. I want to try the Murphy’s Oil soap and see if that works just as well or better. I don’t know yet.

  3. Heather,
    We always use for really greasy stuff.. in the kitchen, cleaning cabinets etc every spring cleaning with my mom growing up and I just washed all my storage containers this past weekend in what my Mom and Dad always called “Sal soda” … I have never seen it at the store called this.. but I get the small box of Arm and hammer laundry soap (it is on the top shelf at the store usually) and Mom says it is the same thing .. fill the sink with warm water and about a cup of this.. it makes the water sort of “slippery” I have used bleach and every other thing on the market to clean the stuff by my stove top.. and I always end up reaching under the counter for the small jar of the sal soda I keep there, after I say to my self.. why didn’t you just use this from the begining.. Mom used to fill the sink every spring and wash the walls of the house with this..
    Hope this works for you..

    Sue in NJ

  4. http://www.starnursery.com/610-fruit-mix

    I use bone meal instead of superphosphate, and you can use either blood meal or cottonseed meal for the nitrogen. In the fall I go heavier on the bonemeal and lighter on the nitrogen (bloodmeal or cottonseed meal) which promotes stronger root growth (the trees don’t need to be putting forth many leaves now). If you have acidic soil you won’t need the soil sulphur; that is to lower the ph. Where I live the soil and water are both highly alkaline (8.2 ph). Also, cottonseed meal lowers ph somewhat as well.

  5. I love your photos – they just seem to emit peace to me.
    Mine are also monthly goals as these will take me more than a week to do right now. It’s a bad time of year for me and I have little motivation – happens every year, more than likely due to the decrease in sun I am getting.
    I have many of the same goals –
    *At the moment, my sewing room is almost completely empty. I have my gigantic desk listed for free on Craigslist right now with the catch that whoever takes it must bring their own muscle ’cause hubby and I are not in good enough shape to move it (we were much younger when it came into the house!). Once that is gone, I can begin ripping up the 19 year old carpet and then put down the wood look vinyl I have picked out, paint the trim to match the rest of the house, add in the copy paper boxes I am painting for fabric storage and then put it all back together with my “new to me” sewing tables and chair. It will most likely take me the whole month :/
    **Wash all the dog bedding, blankets off the couch and dog couch covers and then spray the house for fleas……again. Anyone have any guaranteed to work tips?? Fleas at my house are immune to Frontline, Advantage and Advantage Plus (we are switching to Nextgard) so I am not sure what is going to work on the house anymore. It is getting very frustrating! Just when I think we got a handle on them, the darn things rebound back! I keep telling myself it could be worse – it could be ticks!
    **Reorganize my baking and canning pantry – it’s really just a set of cupboards outside of my regular big pantry.
    **Make and stain/poly new shelves for our daughter’s room + Find a free 2 drawer file cabinet and paint it to match her room. She keeps all of her notes from her medical classes and needs a way to store and organize them.
    **I found a decent canned veggie sale this week, so will be stocking up on peas & green beans (and carrots if they are included in the sale – usually they aren’t) The other store we usually hit has frozen veggies on sale for $1 a bag so I will hit them for some of the other types we eat on a regular basis. My cauliflower and broccoli just did not produce this year – big huge plants with no heads at all!
    **In the garden, I have to rebuild a couple raised boxes and spread the wood chips we are busy making from the trimmed branches and trees we have to take out around the raised beds. I just hope I can get it done before the snow starts flying!
    **I have to get my turkeys processed at the end of the month. I weighed them Saturday and they range from 19 – 20 pounds so will be ready by the end of the month. I am looking for 15 pound carcasses – much heavier than that and I cannot lift them to get it in and out of the oven!

    I am thinking of starting the timer and then give myself 30 minutes or so on one task so that I can get things done – maybe if I split into 30 minute increments, it won’t be so overwhelming.

  6. Heather, I know this may be a bit of expense and it is a chemical, but TSP is really good for striping grease layers. They often suggest using this cleaner before painting because it really does a good job at removing all dirt and residue build up on surfaces. Buying the crystals and mixing it with water allows you to adjust the strength and it is cheaper than buying the premixed spray bottle. In Canada I can buy a small container of the crystals for about $2-$3, so it isn’t extremely expensive. Just make sure to wear rubber gloves when washing with it, then rise well afterwards.

  7. I wouldn’t use TSP unless you are going to paint or coat the cabinets in something. It is used when painting walls because it etches (scratches) the surface so the new paint will stick.

  8. I don’t know if you can buy this where you live, but I did this project back in March. I tried Murphy’s oil soap because that’s what I usually use and it just didn’t work this time because I had let it go too long. I went to the dollar store and got something called AWESOME. It is only a dollar a bottle and it cut every bit of the grease. It is a chemical and it is a little strong so make sure it’s well ventilated if you use it, but it honestly cut the grease that nothing else would cut.

  9. Hello Brandy and all from Australia :).

    My husbands and my goals are for this month are –

    In the garden –
    – Finish planting vegetables in the 4 garden beds we have and fill in all blank rows.
    – Extend & install drip irrigation system to 5th vegetable garden patch & plant with pumpkins, watermelons & more vegetables.
    – To be more diligent to pick all vegetables quicker due to the heat as they are going to seed so quickly, and blanch and freeze what we have to increase our food stores.

    In the home housework chores –
    – Clean the refrigerator (yes we don’t like that job either)
    – Clean all venetian blinds with sugar soap.
    – Endeavour to clean lounge room & hallway walls & ceilings to remove winter smoke residue.
    – Clean out the fire place as winter is now over.
    – Move out the stove, fridge, freezer and buffet units in the kitchen and clean underneath them.
    – Wash & vacuum the car & sweep the garage.

    In the sewing room for hobby business
    – Make a few more eye, journal covers, fabric curtain tiebacks masks to replace stock sold

    – try to stock up on yeast, powdered eggs, baking powder, a few tins of fruit and any other gaps in the pantry

  10. Goals for October
    I changed from weekly to monthly. I did get some goals accomplished during the past rainy weekend. I’m glad I didn’t inventory the big pantry last week as DH did unsupervised shopping at Costco and Trader Joe’s over the weekend. He didn’t go too crazy, but a lot of supplies need rearranged and repackaged so everything fits efficiently and is easy to see.

    • harvest spaghetti squash and potatoes
    • go through red potatoes for storage
    • keep collecting vines and branches (need enough for 10 5 projects)
    • inventory big pantry
    • inventory chest freezer and fridge freezer → meal plan
    • set-up sunroom with all plants before cold weather SOON
    • package paper plates of saved seed
    • inventory and store seeds for next season
    • transplant 3 Shasta Daisys into white garden, pot up a few to sell next spring
    • seed cilantro and chives to grow in the sunroom
    • take a few more Geranium cutting before frost late this month

  11. Melissa – I feel your pain with the fleas!

    We’ve had good luck with spraying Orange Guard – plus it smells okay and isn’t poisonous to people.
    we also have a flea trap which has a stick paper on the bottom and is just a white Xmas light shining above it. The light at night attracts the fleas and then they get stuck on the adhesive paper.
    I also comb the cats 2 x a day with a flea comb – inexpensive but very time consuming.

    Good Luck!

  12. Goals for October
    I changed from weekly to monthly. I did get some goals accomplished during the past rainy weekend. I’m glad I didn’t inventory the big pantry last week as DH did unsupervised shopping at Costco and Trader Joe’s over the weekend. He didn’t go too crazy, but a lot of supplies need rearranged and repackaged so everything fits efficiently and is easy to see.

    • harvest spaghetti squash and potatoes
    • go through red potatoes for storage
    • keep collecting vines and branches (need enough for 10 5 projects)
    • inventory big pantry
    • inventory chest freezer and fridge freezer → meal plan
    • set-up sunroom with all plants before cold weather SOON
    • package paper plates of saved seed
    • inventory and store seeds for next season
    • transplant 3 Shasta Daisys into white garden, pot up a few to sell next spring
    • seed cilantro and chives to grow in the sunroom
    • take a few more Geranium cutting before frost late this month

  13. Hi Melissa and relate to the getting older and heavy objects not moving as easy as when we were younger scenario :).

    In regard to fleas on animals, we found that these things worked for our now passed away Mr Moo, the cat, yes he was black and white and just found us and moved in as his owners were abusive and didn’t feed him either.

    We used to put a few drops of lavender essential oil in his pet shampoo and wash him with that, it used to deter the fleas and in fact the vet used to say to us he was the only cat he had ever seen that didn’t have any fleas. You can also give the animals a little garlic in their food and that also deters fleas. You could also try to mix essential lavender oil with some water, keep shaking it as it separates easily, and spray your home as well. These are the natural remedies we used to use and they worked well for us.

    The lavender has an added bonus of making your home smell lovely too.

    Let me know how you go.

  14. My goals for this month are pretty simple. On the 17th I am going to a Between Friends sale. It is a sale that happens once a year and lets people sell their gently used children’s toys, clothes, and other things. As a day care provider the toys in my day care are used a lot. Sometimes they wear out. I go to these sales once a year and can get some next to new toys at a very discounted price. I have set aside a budget of $100.00 for this sale.

    I am also going to keep working on my Christmas gifts. It is going slow, but steady. I have several more items to make and embroidery. It will get done, but it takes time. I work on it after supper most evenings.

    There will be one trip to Sam’s club. I need a few baking items to get ready for holiday baking. I also need some day care items.

    We will cover part of our garden for the winter months. I have planted several things for a fall garden.

    We have a family reunion this month, I have to get some food cooked and ready for that. It is a pot luck dinner.

    I have also got to go through some of my sewing room, it is kind of a mess. I need to take a few hours and just get it done.

  15. Does the Orange Guard kill the flea eggs? That’s the problem – I get the adult ones all killed and then a new batch will hatch.

  16. Just a thought, but is there anything you can plant to block the hottest sun over your Alpine strawberries but that allows them to get maybe the cooler morning and evening sun? Even something temporary?

  17. I found that the best thing to get rid of fleas in the house was table salt. Just use a regular box of salt and sprinkle all around where they might be. I left it on for a day, but I’ve read 3 hours is long enough. You will need to repeat the process several weeks in a row. I just vacuumed the salt with my regular vacuum with no harmful effects.

  18. When I had the worst flea infestation ever, I used a service that put salt in the carpets. It worked. I currently use a monthly prescription flea medication that is a pill given to my dog. The gist of the medication is that if/when a flea bites the dog, the flea will die. So no flea eggs since the adults will have died off.

  19. Hi Diana & in answer to your question.

    Here in Australia we buy it in a bottle from the supermarkets or building hardware stores. It is a heavy grade soap that you put a little with water in a bucket and wash down your walls and things usually prior to painting. It smells really nice and is user friendly, no yucky fumes from it or anything.

    I use it for getting rid of grease on kitchen cabinets, built up dust on venetian blinds, and cleaning down smoke stained walls after winter to get rid of the smoke grime.

    It is fabulous stuff and you only need a tiny bit dissolved in water to do the job, and it makes the house smell that nice spring fresh smell.

  20. LOVE AWESOME!!! When my husband and I were newlyweds our first home had a greasy hood also. That grease met its match with LA’s Awesome…but dilute it the first time as it can sometimes be too strong. I love that it’s a buck and a multipurpose cleaner.

  21. I can totally sympathize with the sewing room being a gigantic project! I think I sewed more when I DIDN’T have a sewing room (I would just pull my sewing stuff out and sew at the kitchen table). Now I just use my sewing room as a dumping grounds and it is quite inaccessible.

    Also, I made curtain rods from Conduit, as well—-> awesome!! So cheap! I spray painted mine a nice walnut black. You wouldn’t even know!

  22. Love how your front garden has filled out. Hope you accomplish all your goals this month. I’ve only one goal for October – to focus on my health. I had my lumpectomy on Friday, Oct. 2; will consult with oncologist tomorrow (Friday, Oct.9) and follow-up visit with surgeon on Tues., Oct. 13. I’ll find out tomorrow what treatments (chemo and radiation, probably), etc. Everything else will have to take a back seat.

  23. I only have two goals this month.

    1. To finish Painting the walls in the new house.
    2. To move into the new house.

    We are going from a 2400 sq. foot house in town to a 1500 sq. foot Double wide on 48 acres. The biggest problem I have is the downsizing after 19 years here. and my craft stuff….. where am I going to put it??? So if anyone has advice on where to store craft things in the master bedroom, please let me know. (The closet will be full of clothes) I need all the help I can get.

  24. Hi Lynn & I live in a home that is 1000 sq. foot and moved from a double storey house 2000 sq. foot, I feel your pain. We don’t have children at home any more as they have grown, and it is a 3 bedroom home.

    We have one room for the bedroom with bed, bedside tables and 2 small tallboys for minimal clothing, across the hall for our dressing room as we can’t fit all of our clothes in the bedroom with the bed & bedside tables & there is just enough room with the bed positioned just right to shut the door.

    I put my craft materials in the 3rd bedroom and put them in 55lt frosted clear storage containers on wheels, and I stack them on top of each other, it is amazing what you can fit in them, you could also pop a table cloth over them and use them as a bedside table feature. You could also put your craft items in plastic under the bed storage containers on wheels and wheel them out when you need to use them.

    Just some of the ideas I have that may help you as we have become very talented at storing things by stacking and moving upwards in such a small home.

    I hope this helps.

  25. I laughed out loud about the “unsupervised” shopping trips to Costco and Trader Joe’s! 😀 That is too funny! I must admit that I sometimes get a little out of control with my shopping too. I found a great deal on coffee last month at a discount store and bought about a year’s supply because it was so cheap. My husband probably thought I was crazy, but hopefully he will appreciate it later since he’s the one that drinks it…

  26. Good morning, Brandy and all,
    What a breath of fresh air to be able to sit down for a few moments and catch up with everyone. I have the doors open, the children are still sleeping and hubby is at the gym…peace and tranquility for a little while anyway. What a blessing!
    I was thinking about you yesterday when I went to Winco and after I saw this post I thought you should know (if you didn’t already) that this month they are having a case sale. I didn’t realize it until I was on my way out of the store that it is actually going on all month long. Knowing now that it will go on all month long, I probably could have paced myself a little better, lol! 😀 I bought a 25 pound bag of rolled oats for $13.78 and a 25 pound bag of black turtle beans for just under $18. I thought these were fantastic prices, but now I realize I probably could have held off until later in the month for these. Normally I try to leave about $25 of wiggle room in my grocery budget for good sales or buying these bulk bags of dried items, but these purchases went a little over that so I need to figure out where I will cut back in other areas to compensate. Anyway, I thought I’d mention the sale at Winco since I saw it on your list. If you are able to evaluate your grocery spending to accommodate the case sale, it would be a great way to fill in gaps in the pantry.
    Another goal I have this month is to find another insurance carrier for our home and possibly for our cars. We had a very large claim over the summer that required a complete upheaval of the flooring in our kitchen and replacement of a couple of cabinet boxes due to water and mold damage. Well, the insurance company has now decided that we are too great of a risk and they dropped us (well, our policy will run through this month. It was due to renew on Nov. 1st). I am not too happy about this since we have had this insurance for almost two decades. I am pretty sure we have paid enough in premiums to cover the loss they paid out to us this summer, but I guess they don’t look at it that way. We have an agent who is looking into some other companies for us, but I want to get this taken care of soon.
    I think we are finally ready to plant the fall garden, too. We are starting a little later than anticipated, but you hit the nail on the head about the weather. Just when we were thinking it would be “safe”, it starts to heat up again, LOL! So, this might be our weekend after all. The bed is all ready to go, we just need to plant everything. I am a little bummed that we didn’t get this done last weekend since we had a lot of nice rain this week, but at least it helped soften the dirt in the bed which will help with planting.
    My daughter is done with all but two of her mid-term exams so our goal for this month with her schooling is to keep working at a good pace and stay diligent. Transitioning to high school has been a little challenging to say the least, but we’re getting the hang of it slowly. I am glad that we started a little early because the extra time has proven helpful while we get our bearings. My son is doing well, but still suffering from migraines. Last week he didn’t do any school work for me at all and this week he only worked a couple of days. When he can work, he does very well, but I really wish we could get a handle on what is causing these. The night guard that his dentist fit him for over the summer has reduced the episodes significantly, but I think this recent string of headaches might be attributed to the change in the weather. The frustrating thing about that is I obviously can’t do anything about the weather…so we plod steadily…and pray for relief for him.
    I think those are the main goals for this month, but as always, trying to stay conservative with expenses and spending in general.
    Take care and God bless!

  27. That’s quite a list of goals! I hope you find all the items on your “want” list at the community yard sale. I’ve been thinking of what I want for the new walkway which will happen after our current project, and I couldn’t help but notice yours. I had pondered one that looks like stones, but yours is very pretty. I think I will look at more classic lines, and see what I can come up with.

  28. Well coming from someone who has lived in pretty small areas in my time my suggestions are:

    1. Stack bolts of material on top of your dresser or folded cloth on top of the dresser. It really helps to keep the material where you can see it, which is important to stop you from over buying.

    2. Stacking rubbermaid drawers. They are so, so wonderful and will hold a lot more than you think. I like the smaller ones as the drawers don’t cave in the way the big drawers do when you put something on top of them. I’ve stored everything from canned goods (when we lived in a small apartment) to yarn to tons of different craft supplies. I would store the materials in them and use the drawers as bedside tables. Throw a cloth or small table cloth over them if you want to hide them a bit.

    3. Under bed storage. It’s amazing what you can shove into a box and put under a bed.

    4. If you have any room in closets at all try hanging some material up if you can’t put it anywhere else. You can fit a couple of different patterns of cloth on one hanger and it gets it out of the way.

    And that’s about all I’m coming up with off the top of my head. Good luck!

  29. Hi Laurie!

    What I designed in the front yard is concrete. The edges are smooth and the rest is stamped concrete to look like stone. Afterward it dried it was cut on the diagonal. I also had it sealed, but I didn’t do that to the back (we did the same thing in back, only we cut larger squares there; since the front is smaller we cut smaller squares).

  30. Do NOT use TSP unless you are repainting! “TSP is suitable for use on a variety of materials, including brick and stone, cement and wood. But if any of those surfaces are painted, you should expect to repaint. That’s fine much of the time, because the single most common use of TSP is for cleaning surfaces as part of a proper paint preparation process, particularly for exteriors.”

  31. A caution about sealed concrete to anyone in a very snowy: The kennel I worked at did this so the cement wouldn’t absorb the urine. However, it makes the snow and ice “float” on top of the cement so when you step on it, it goes right out from under you! We have to hang on to the chainlink when we are walking in snow covered pens and I have injured myself falling bad enough to go to the emergency room 2x now!

  32. Think up 🙂 My fabric storage is stored in bins on the Rubbermaid wire shelving around the entire ceiling of my sewing room. My buttons are also in re-purposed pickle jars on a shelf above the door and all of my thread, bobbins and ribbon spools are on racks hung on the wall (out of reach of kitties!). I am extremely fortunate that right now, I have an “extra” room in the house to use for all of my crafting/sewing stuff. However, if we ever move like we are talking of doing, I may lose that bonus and have to get really creative.

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