I want to cut some herbs before frost comes to kill them back to their roots. We’re having a warm week, so I will plant some more seeds that can make it through the cool temperatures of our mild winters.


1. Cut oregano and hang to dry. 

2. Cut and dry tarragon

3. Plant more lettuce in the garden

4. Run drip lines and transplant Swiss chard, plus plant more (I still haven’t done this, so it’s back on the list).

5. Plant other seeds in the garden



 I am dreadfully behind on the gifts I had hoped to finish last month. I’ll post gifts as I finish them.


1. Continue making gifts for the children. 


Christmas Preparation:


1. Wrap several gifts

2. Make Christmas candy for stockings



1. Can cranberry juice



1. Pay utility bills


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  1. How long into the winter do you plant seeds for lettuce, kale, and swiss chard? This is our first winter in Tucson, AZ, and I planted a garden in late September that wasn’t very successful. (It was very hot here until late October, early November.) I have some sprouts, but they’re just not growing. I wonder if I should just replant? I don’t know how far into the season I can plant seeds. Thanks!

  2. I find I have to wait until it is below 90º to plant seeds i nteh ground with any success. Some of the seeds I will be planting this week like really cool soil germination temperatures of 45-55º. I usually plant most of my spring lettuces in January and then cover them with jars to warm them and keep them safe from frosts. Swiss chard will grow all year long, so if I plant now, I’ll have a head start on when temperatures warm up. I would plant all of those things this week and when a frost is expected, you can cover up the lettuce (the kale and chard if you want but, they should be fine with the frosts we have).

    I have some areas where seeds haven’t come up, and others where they were eaten by bugs. By planting now, I should be able to get a good start for early spring crops of cool-season vegetables.

  3. I will be paying my bills on Wednesday and Thursday.
    Planning my food buying for the month.
    I want to sew lounging pants for my daughter and her two kiddies. These will be Christmas gifts.
    Order a RC gift for ZE. He wants an RC front-loader. I am having trouble finding one that isn’t killing my budget.
    Order Jake’s Christmas gift. He asked for handle covers for his cast iron pan. I thought about making them, but I’m unsure of their being able to handle the heat if I make them.
    The big thing for me is to organize packing up my house. My son is buying me a house this next summer and I have to start going through things. Even though the house is larger than this one I need to pare down what I have. I’m not exactly sure how to go about this…getting rid of stuff I’ve had for 30+ years. *sigh* I will be making lists of save, donate, sell…I guess.

  4. I have a question. I just started gardening 2 years ago. Thanks to you! My kind neighbor has tilled my garden for me both years and helped me so much. I would like to expand. We have over 2 acres so space isn’t a problem. I’ve been reading about putting cardboard down to kill weeds. Do u think I could put cardboard down and dry leaves on top and leave it there till spring? Then after it decomposes work it in to the garden. I’m in south Arkansas so our winters are mild but colder than you. Also what are some good fruits to grow? I have a pear and apple tree that were already here.

  5. Thank you! Do you just cover them with jars at night? If so, do you do it every night?

    I have a long way to go before I’m able to feed my family veggies solely from the garden, so I look to your blog for inspiration, especially since we’re in the same climate. Thanks so much!

  6. Lots of things to do. Sounds like your pretty normal regarding Christmas gifts and preparation. i got sick so my energy level is at zero. I hope to do get more done later in the week. (face with a thermometer).

    Wishing you a productive week.


  7. I’ve seen other bloggers do that to kill the grass overwinter for spring planting with great results. I would definitely do that!

    I grow a lot of fruits; if you’re colder then you can grow more. What you plant depends on what you like! I would visit your local nursery to find out what fruits grow best in your area. If you ground isn’t frozen or doesn’t freeze at all, you can plant fruit trees this month. (You can also click on the Garden links in the menu bar to see what fruits I grow; I have over 40 fruit trees on a .24 acre lot). You can also read my posts on choosing fruit trees for your garden: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/blog?view=entry&id=75

    Don’t forget grapes and berry bushes!

  8. For making pot holders and similar items, I save old ironing board covers with the silicon coating–and can usually cut up the less worn parts to put inside to keep the heat from my hands.

  9. I am so behind in my Christmas sewing too. Not enough hours in the day for me. I do some hand sewing in the day hours while the day care kids are here but I am super limited on what I can do. It seems I am always setting it a side to do something else.

    I did finish all of the BUYING I am going to do.

    For my birthday I am going to get new carpet in my daycare room. I have had this room more than 20 years and the flooring in it was cheap tiles to begin with. Over the years it has got worse. So I want to put some carpet in that will stand up a few more years till I can retire.

  10. Hi Brandy! I happened upon the link to this post on Facebook, but didn’t get an email notification that you had a new post up. Drat!

  11. This week my 3 goals are….. (Living here in the midwest the garden has been tucked away until next spring)
    1) Wrap Christmas gifts and challenge myself to use what I have and get creative in decorating packages. (Maps, starched fabric, old Christmas card cut outs, shredded paper bags as stuffing, self opening boxes with covers wrapped to then be reused next year etc.)
    2) Mix up 3 batches of cookies, plan to bake them on Saturday.
    3) Knit during my “free” time rather than getting absorbed in pinterest….I get to carried away.
    That’s it only 3-then I can remember what goals I set for myself.

  12. Christmas is getting close.. and there seems to be so many things to get done.
    This week.. my goals are:
    1- plan a grocery shopping day… for any items I need to stock the pantry for Christmas cooking.
    2-Finish embroidering table runners , for gifts.
    3-Embroider pocket t-shirts for twin granddaughters for Christmas
    4- Make some Christmas candy ,put in freezer.
    5 – Husband put pork shoulder on smoker Saturday… we had sandwiches over the weekend.. Tomorrow,
    we will divide it in to meals for two.. and put in bags in the freezer for future meals. I paid about $8 for it, and
    we will get 6 meals from it.
    Hope you each have a good week, and accomplish your goals.

  13. I think we’re headed for a quietish time for the next couple of weeks – apart from all the usual December craziness! We finished decorating the house yesterday; then I put all the non-Santa presents under the tree. Then I thought – That’s it, I’m done, I can actually just relax and enjoy the season! Oh, we have a few things on the calendar (the school concert, my husband’s work party); and I’m trying to do a craft or Christmas activity with the kids each day; but the presents are made/purchased and wrapped, the house is decorated, the meal is more-or-less planned (and we go low-key for our Christmas meal anyway), the freezer’s full of chocolates; I’ll make some sugar cookies with the kids and do a bit of other baking, but just what I feel like doing, and just for fun – no obligations. And just in time – I went to the shops on Saturday and it was already at that stifling-can’t-move-too-many-people stage of Christmas shopping.

    I started a Christmas journal five years ago. At the end of every Christmas I write a few pages about that Christmas, then pack it away with the decorations for the year. I really enjoyed reading all of the entries yesterday. I also keep an ornament journal – every year we make a couple of ornaments at home; and of course the kids always make some at school; so I make note of who made what, so that way when the kids are all grown up I can give them their ornaments along with a little description of what was made/purchased when. It’s nice to have it all written down; less for me to have to remember that way.

  14. Today I met my first goal. We put up the tree, and made some Christmas cookies after church. I froze a lot. I need some for small group Tuesday night, the 4H Christmas party Wednesday, and a funeral on Wednesday (2 dozen).

    I need to prep for 2 weeks of homeschool co-op before Tuesday. We are doing 2 weeks of work, but not meeting the 16th, so I need to hand out a test (that I generate), etc. for parents to administer, take notes on what I’m going to lecture on, etc. I put in 5 hours today, and am almost done.

    I teach Sunday in Childrens’ worship this next week. It takes a few hours of prep. Several of us take turns, since it involves skits, props, etc. and the main teacher is responsible for their team, props, etc., plus practice. I had today completely off of responsiblities. I will make up for it this week:)

    I work (piano lessons)Monday, Wednesday, Thursday morning (this week only-reschedules) and a tiny bit on Tuesday, and do co-op the rest of the day Tuesday. I’ve done my prep for piano today (organize myself, any music I need to take with me, buy prizes, etc.) and now just need to pack lunches, etc. each morning. I need to give my own daughter a piano lesson–she is overdue!

    My older daughter’s new job is working for her! Yea! Now my husband and I just need to coordinate how to get her back and forth. She’s scheduled for 5 days, although all 5 are not 8 hours, and one’s a training over 1 hour from our house. Obviously, we are dovetailing with our work schedules, but there are many times in the schedule she got that are going to be hard for us to do–the times are really off from when we are going to be there. It’s a 25-30 minute drive, each way. The next week is even more inconvenient, and we don’t have the list any further out than that. We will manage, but it may take over 2 hours a day, some days, if we have to go twice, just for her. So, the goal there is good coordination and energy for driving, keeping her upbeat, encourage her, etc., and have lunch foods available for her to pack.

    Our 4H club will be doing jars of bean soup mix at the adult center as a community service project. We did it last year, and the seniors loved having that jar to take home and make whenever they wanted to. I have the parts and pieces I am supposed to take, all ready and have bought the ice cream I am supposed to have ready when we come back here to the house. They will sing at a nearby nursing home after the bean soup project, then come here for games, a potlluck, and party. I just need to make sure the house is arranged with tables, chairs, etc. and my parts of the games are ready. I bought a couple of things for White Elephant today, and the house is simply decorated–we have a tree at least:)

    I need to make turkey soup in the crock pot for our small group to eat on Tuesday night–we have a family small group with dinner each Tuesday. I boiled bones and made broth and bits on Saturday, so now just need to put it together early Tuesday before lessons, co-op and Grandma.

    I need to make sure my daughter has a sewing project ready as Grandma and an Auntie are coming to help her sew Tuesday afternoon between Co-op and small group.

    I need to plan food for the end of the week. I have one CASA worker coming Thursday afternoon (to see my granddaughter who is a foster child), so I need to clean a little before then. It’s not bad, just tidy up before the visit. We cleaned well on Friday. I need to plan any errands I have for Friday, since I take a child to therapy that day. (a distance, as everything is from where I live out in the country–but good to do errands.)

    If I can possibly squeeze it in, I have a dress all ready to cut out for Granddaughter. I’d love to get started.

    I have to exercise all week, each evening. I usually walk 30 minutes on the treadmill. I have a goal of inputting all my food into the ap on my Kindle, as it helps me tremendiously with keeping track of what I eat. It counts the calories, adds exercise, and tells me when to stop, or keep eating:) It’s the only thing that works for me to keep my sugars down (diabetic) because I’m so busy I find I don’t even notice what I’m eating if I don’t focus on it. So my goal is to not miss a day on that this week.

  15. What a good idea! Unfortunately for me I’ve been making my own ironing board covers for so long I don’t think I have a store bought one left. I’ll look though. Thank you.

  16. I am looking forward to that post! 🙂 I’m hoping to make most of our Christmas stocking candy this year as well, and I’m always interested to see what ideas you have.

  17. Perhaps you might consider getting an area rug, instead of full carpeting. They are much cheaper, and I have purchased several in excellent shape through going to auctions. The last area rug I picked up at auction was $10, but I have purchased larger ones for $35 and $40. Once we brought them home, we used a rug shampooer to clean them before using them in our home.

    Considering the abuse the carpet will take with preschoolers, the carpet could then be discarded once you retire, or if still in good condition, cleaned up and used somewhere in your home.

  18. Do you use an embroidery machine or do you embroidery by hand? I am thinking about getting an embroidery machine for Christmas. Not a real expensive one. Walmart has the one I want.

  19. Becky – You can buy insulated heat-resistant batting from some fabric stores, it’s intended for making potholders and such.

  20. We have deer , fox , and rabbits that visit our property and while I would love to plant fruit trees (they would have to be dwarf as the property we own is a small patch) The deer come out of the woods and eat everything!

  21. I’d think pretty hard about getting an embroidery machine. My sister bought a top of the line one and it’s okay; but the work it turns out isn’t brilliant. And she’s uber-talented so it’s definitely not her, it’s the machine. I had a cheap one and it was a piece of crap, it just never worked the way it was supposed to. Unless you do a lot of embroidery and don’t really care about the end-result, I’d suggest you hold off.

  22. Hello! I am an organic Gardner in Georgia and my two biggest secrets are cardboard and mulch. I use cardboard on all of my paths and cover that with free wood mulch from tree trimmers (mainly contractors that work for the utility companies) and once my plants are in the ground I use heavy mulch around them to prevent weeds. You will really cut down on weeds if you do this. Also you can put covers down now like large pieces of cardboard or tarps or plastic to begin preparing places for the spring or to solarize places that you already have ready.

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