Katy Apricot Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

Cooler weather has returned, along with a rainstorm that came last night and lasted until the early hours of this morning. 

I’ve got a long list of tasks this week that I hope to be up and doing. Here are my plans:



1. Make birthday gifts for Elsa: skirt, doll dress, dress, and pajamas



1. Make birthday dessert for Elsa

2. Make French bread

3. Make pork roast

4. Make black bean enchiladas

5. Make minestrone soup

6. Make tomato basil soup

7. Make lemon meringue pie

8. Make lollipops for Elsa’s birthday



1. Continue pruning hedges in back

2. Finish pruning grapes and start a couple of new vines from cuttings

3. Finish digging out apple tree (the ground should be nice and soft now)

4. Fix drip lines that need to be mended 

5. Thin and transplant thinned lettuce

6. Finish planting tomatoes

7. Plant more seeds

8. Fertilize fruit trees, grape vines, and blackberry bushes



1. Trip to Winco (to get oats, and more potatoes if they are still .20 a pound)

2. Trip to Walmart (dish soap, oil, blue Scoth-brite pads); I’ll combine this with the trip to Winco

3. Trip to cannery (black beans and white beans)

4. Trip to Joann’s. Winter needs some supplies for her project and I will take my $5 off $10 coupon, which should keep us around $5 out of pocket.


Other goals:

1. Photograph and list 15 items for sale on Facebook garage sale pages

2. Decorate for Elsa’s birthday. She wants a Frozen-themed birthday party. I’ve been searching Pinterest for ideas that I can make using what I have on hand.

3. Take Elsa to the library to get a library card (our 5th birthday tradition)



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  1. Are you doing school this week? That list looks like a no school week to me. I got a lot done this weekend for food prep. My house is not as clean as I would like it.

    I am picking up my azure standard order today.
    Making sourdough with a starter I just got.
    Make yogurt
    School and checking work.
    List 5 things on eBay and 6 are selling so ship them.
    Keep up with laundry.
    Bake bread.
    Make wild rice pilaf
    Make “cheez it” cracker with my son who has been asking.
    Sam’s club trip for flour and sugar to add to stockpile.
    That is all.

  2. I was beginning to think no one had any goals this week. *smile*
    My first goal is to survive the ice and cold. *laughing* North Texas is getting a dose of 20 degree weather, sleet and small amount of snow on top of about 12 hours of rain that froze last night. My son is stranded here with us so it is a little more fun.
    My goals this week are to reorganize my sewing room and office.
    Jay (my son) has been learning how to make boots from Carl Chappell, here in town. He bought a professional sewing machine from him and then gifted me with it when he found one closer to his home (California).
    Being a professional seamstress this is a wonderful gift, BUT very large. I have to find space for it and rearrange the other 5 machines I have.
    I will be getting chicken bones ready to boil. We will be having chicken and dumplings tonight.
    Finishing the vest for a customer. I am having big problems with the welt pockets for some reason.
    Start ordering the bones and busks for the 2 corsets I am making.
    Cut patterns for the 2 Civil War Gowns.
    Start packing for the move.
    As always, Brandy, you inspire me.

  3. I went to my Henderson WinCo this week and got oats; the price was up to $16.15. Just thought you might like to know.

  4. Good morning Brandy,
    It is looking like Spring here in the Puget Sound. Cherry Blossoms and daffodils blooming. This is early for us, but a joy to see.The birds are singing as well in the mornings. I have been wanting to start on the garden, but the temperatures are going down this week to the low 40’s so I will wait. We are considering getting a small green house kit because winters here can be very cold and rainy. Have you ever had a greenhouse? The kale and chard are thriving well with the good weather we’ve had.
    Since I have stocked my pantry well, this week I bought 2-5 lb bags potatoes for about .20 cent/lb on sale at Albertsons and I only spent $10.00 for fresh veggies at the local veggie market in town. They had artichokes 1.00/each, grapefruit 3/1.00 and avocados 2/1.00. we will have fruit salads and your pasta e fagioli soup, your chicken enchiladas, and a veggie dinner with scallop potatoes and green beans to last us this week for meals. The meals will be enough for us to have leftovers for 2 days each for the week. I have a beef roast that I had the meat cutter divide into 1/3rds and froze. I would like to make a good pot roast with carrots and potatoes next Sunday, and then use the leftovers for a minestrone soup for next week. When I buy meats on sale , I usually section them out into portions to stretch the meals. This helped when I was raining 5 children and we lived on 15,000/year income many years ago ( while I was going through nursing school) My father was a meat cutter so he taught me how to choose meat, and section/cut into portions. A Beef roast can be cut into roast size and stew meat. Chicken can be portioned out to chick breasts( and divide into 1/4ths), chick leg/thigh roasted dinner with leftovers to make chick and dumplings, then the remainder of the chick made into soup. Even though it is just my husband and myself now, and retirement coming for me, I need to be just as frugal now.
    Macy’s had a 60 % off one day sale and we used our coupon to buy sheets for the bed. Ours were getting very old. We had great price for sheets. These should last for a few years.
    For Valentines Day, we decided to watch a movie at home for free, and have breakfast for dinner as I had plenty of eggs~It was a nice evening just to be together,talk and enjoy the movie together.
    I also volunteer at a dog rescue organization here in our town and have fostered a couple of dogs this last year. It has been a rewarding experience. We are now fostering a sweet frightened little doggy that was brought here on Valentines Day,who was abandoned in Ca at a truck stop. We are hoping to adopt this little one and not pay a fee since we volunteer. They have already neutered him and all vaccinations are up to date so we would not have to have out of pocket fees. Since my children are grown, and most have moved out of state, this Valentine doggy brings a lot of companionship to us.I enjoy training dogs as well. He is so sweet and gentle, I may train him as a therapy dog to bring at the hospital where I work as a retiree, and give comfort to the patients.

    Have a wonderful week~~
    Blessings to you
    Patty from the Northwest~

  5. Brandy, I hope you will do a post on the gifts you make and the birthday party for your daughter. I really enjoy seeing what you make. It is so inspiring and you often have such great ideas that can be gleaned for Christmas, birthdays or other parties.

    As for my goals this week:

    *Bake some snack items to put in the freezer for my daughter’s school lunches. (already made them today, but might make more if time allows)

    *Several meetings/appointments to attend this week, both for myself and my daughter.

    *Order the seed fundraiser packages for my daughter’s school.

    *Husband wants us to attend an auction tomorrow evening. Looking for items for my brother who just separated from wife and is starting up a household on a very limited budget (not to mention we may find something cheap and useful for us).

    *Try to find some time to weave on the loom I borrowed. Practice makes perfect!

    *Get back into making more meals from scratch and use up some items in the freezer that have been there a while.

    *Stay warm! (it’s -40C with wind chill today. Supposed to get a little warmer for rest of week, but not much)

    Hope everyone has a productive week this week.

  6. Sounds like a busy week. My kids got their library cards as soon as they were able to write their names. And even though they’re 16 and 19 now, they still have them, and it just melts my heart to see their wonderfully scrawly handwriting.

    This week I’m hoping yo deal with some bureaucratic nightmare stuff that’s making me want to scream. Otherwise I have a generally straightforward week ahead of me.

    I am doing some very focused decluttering of my house lately and hope to continue with it all week long. Very inspired by Marie Kondo’s book, even though there’s a lot of crazy within its pages. I’ve been taking stuff to the consignment shop/Goodwill almost every day, which is very cathartic.

  7. This week I plan to do a lot of cooking for the freezer. We will make strawberry freezer jam, several batches of beans from dried, muffins, apple pie filling, and more cookie dough. Maybe more if time allows. I also hope to take advantage of a few good sales at the grocery store. The last thing I must do this week is register my son for kindergarten. Cannot believe he will be big enough to go in the fall (sniff, sniff)

  8. Thank you for sharing the author’s name. I Googled her and quickly came up with a couple of ideas for better organizing a few spots.

  9. i will attempt to make sour dough bread, chicken broth to freeze, work on doll shoes make some cranberry jam, clean out my work room and send some things to the good will, just to start a few. i baked a turkey yesterday and will make several dishes to have this week. i will attempt to pressure cook some dried beans for soups. wish me luck on accomplishmenting these. i enjoy your weekly report. by the way, if winter would like to have some patterns for the baby doll sewing send me an email and i’ll try to send some. i have bunches, also have quilting patterns, miniature and larger ones. have a good week. happy gardening and god bless…..nancy

  10. Brandy I’ve missed this I guess why are you digging up your apple tree? Did it die or just not bear any fruit? I’m beginning to worry about ours in the back yard. I planted it about 4 or more years ago and it hasn’t had a apple on it yet. It’s one of those grafted trees with 3 different varieties. Looks good just not bearing.
    I made a list of my goals this week and blogged about them here:

  11. Brandy, my 19 year old had a combination of Frozen themed and Divergent themed items for her party last fall. ONE thing I made for Frozen is I printed round pictures of the characters and placed them on top of the lids for pint sized mason jars. In the jars I put “cupcake in a jar.” Basically I cut a cupcake in half and piped icing on the bottom half, placed the top on then added icing and snowflake shaped sprinkles. They were so cute and the girls loved them! I found the printables doing a Google search.

    This week I have to finish getting receipts marked and organized for our tax filing preparation, hopefully do some more garden planning, and continue decluttering and cleaning. I also hope to finish a cross stitched gift I’ve been working on far too long, and maybe one other WIP.

    I really want to do some art and scrapbooking, do another lesson in an online photography class, and get some pictures printed. It’s been far too long since I printed any pictures!

  12. This has been on my to-do list for 9 months 🙁 The apple tree has not born fruit, after many years. It has been long enough, and it rarely even flowers, so I think that it needs more chilling hours than I can give it here Therefore, it’s coming out and I’m putting in a different tree.

  13. I really need to do some meal planning and grocery shopping. I haven’t been doing well on this lately and as a result we’ve had some takeout meals.
    Make ahead some things for my kids lunches–vanilla pudding, muffins, hard boiled eggs.
    Make orange marmalade with oranges from our tree.
    Sew a few things for my youngest son–hopefully 2 pairs of pants. More if there is time.

  14. Greetings!
    I love your library tradition, too! That was a big deal when my kids were small. We spent a lot of time there. (It was across the street.)
    My goals are simple this week;
    *DUST!!! I put that in caps because it’s been on my list for weeks, i’m ashamed to say. I work two part time jobs. Some weeks i only manage to get one day off; this was one of them. Sometimes all i can do is clean the bathroom, aside from cook meals and laundry. But, this is the week to DUST!!! (I swear, maybe, hopefully…) (My husband won’t dust; i don’t do windows.)
    *I need to get a few more things listed on ebay. Clutter in, clutter out.
    *Bake rice so i have a supply for meals this week. I see stuffed peppers on the menu.
    *Take the dog to have her nails trimmed. Although this isn’t really frugal, five dollars for about five minutes, we’ve tried to do it ourselves and we just can’t manage this fighting, squirming dog. So worth the cost!
    *Research a new refrigerator. Ours isn’t happy and hasn’t been for awhile. This is the year for a new one. We’ve only had used since we moved here; it’s time to get something that will last. I figure i can save enough to buy one in the Fall when appliances usually go on sale.
    *Dream about gardening because we’re still in a deep freeze. I can see my breath in our unheated basement, so it’ll be some time yet before i can even think about starting seeds. Heavy sigh…..I do have the newest issue of Organic Gardening to help see me through. (Bought for five dollars a year!)
    I’m sure there’s more, but i can’t remember at the moment. So, have a wonderful week!

  15. We’re with you, Becky. This random ice storm in North Texas took us a little by surprise. It was nice enough outside to start laying our garden down and I thought I was going to get to plant early, but then before we knew it, my work was closed due to ice. But we are enjoying not being able to drive down our county road and save money by being home!! Y’all stay safe 🙂

  16. This week will be a toss-up for us, I think. My husband has been on vacation and goes back to work on Friday. He rarely uses vacation time and I requested that he take a week off for our anniversary (yesterday). We work opposite shifts, so I only see him three days a week (except when he gets in bed and it wakes me up). I’ve been off for three days and it was nice to have this time together. I say this week will be a toss-up because with my husband off work, he’s relaxing and recharging, which means I don’t expect anything out of him. He is law enforcement and his job is extremely taxing mentally, so this relaxation time is crucial for him. And then also my work being closed for the “ice storm” we just got in North Texas. This area is not prepared for ice of any kind, so everything shuts down. And if my work is closed again tomorrow, it will be a much more frugal week than normal and I’ll get more accomplished!

    So depending on our week, I’d like to…

    *Piece out the turkey I’m currently roasting. It’s my first time making a turkey (got it on sale after the holidays), so we’ll see what happens! It’s just hubby and myself, so it will feed us for months. I have a long list of meal ideas for the freezer.
    *Clear the office floor of boxes. We moved into our first house in October and have used the office as a catch-all while we organize other rooms when we have time and money to do so.
    *Inventory the fridge, freezer, and pantry to make a food menu. We just had our monthly cooking day last week, so I need to figure out what all we actually ended up making! Sometimes things get confused since we cook with my in-laws. I’m also going to be using this idea (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/177258935305736024/) to write out grocery lists and food menus to hang in the kitchen. We have several large picture frames that haven’t been used in years.
    *Get the laundry down to manageable again.
    *Clean the bunny room and do monthly grooming.

    That’s about all I can manage with my work schedule, unless I have more snow days. We’ll see how it goes! Lots of encouragement to everyone 😉

  17. Starting some seeds for my herb garden. We lost a tree to drought, got the stump removed finally and now I am going to put my herb garden there. Also planted some Lavender. Love the smell, so planted some outside the kitchen window. When the weather allows I can open the window and enjoy the smell.
    Need to make appointments for dentist. I cooked 16 pounds of chicken thighs this morning for the dog food. When it cools enough I will pull the bones and skin off to make more broth. I will cook rice and sweet potatoes, and squash to go in the dog food. This will be a month’s supply of food for 6 dogs. (I have 4 rescue dogs) Cooking for them costs less than quality dog food. The chicken was $1.00 a pound. The sweet potatoes were $3.00 at the farmer’s market and the squash was grown in our garden and frozen. I will add a dab of yogurt to the food too when I feed the dogs. I make the yogurt myself. A friend has given me many more eggs than we can use, so I have boiled them too and will use them in the dog food from time to time and less meat. She also gave me some chickens that she ‘processed’ herself that she warned me were way past their prime for humans to eat so I will cook those next time for the dog food.
    I made more of my ‘hexies’ for the quilt top I am working on. It sure takes a lot of them to do a quilt. I work on them while I listen to TV with my husband in the evenings.
    I used a coupon and gift card at Joanna’s to buy some fabric to make a set of napkins and place matts as a small house warming gift for some friends who just got a motor home. I found some U.S. Air Force fabric on clearance and will back them with linen that I already have. Their only son is a Lt. Col. in the Air Force stationed in Del Rio. He has served 13 years so far and plans to stay till they throw him out. He has been stationed all over the world.
    We are having freezing weather all week. So all week we will be having soups and stews etc. for supper. Tonight I made a chili with pinto beans and just under a cup of left over taco filling meat from last week’s taco dinner. I will make some corn bread too.
    All the laundry is hung on my drying racks and hangers. Have not used my dryer in a month. I hope my bill has come down some.
    We are planning our first vacation for the last week of April. We are going to Wendover Na. with friends. Cost to fly and 3 nights in hotel for us is $260.00. I am excited at the thought of the trip. We are going with our Bible Study group and we always have a lot of fun.

  18. Thanks for the inspiration! We use the 5th birthday as a milestone for a library card as well. I think its a great reward for a beginning reader. Wishing you well on your birthday preparations!

  19. I plan to continue doing some spring cleaning in my kitchen. So far, I’ve only cleaned the refrigerator so I have a long way to go. I would like to be finished with the kitchen by the end of the week so I can work on some other areas in the house. My basement storage is out of control! I need to do some serious purging and organizing down there. Just the thought of it is overwhelming.
    I also want to work on making a valance for my bathroom window and getting caught up on some scrapbooking projects.
    Brandy, thank you for this blog. It’s so inspiring and I love to read your posts every week!

  20. Why not make crystal snowflakes for her birthday? It is a craft and a science project in one. All it takes is borax, hot water and pipe cleaners. My kids made ornaments at Christmas and loved it. Just search borax crystal ornaments on Pinterest. You could make different shapes or surprise her with her name spelled out in crystals.

  21. Vickie, sometimes it takes several years for apple trees to start bearing, in spite of what the nurseries advertise. Our trees didn’t really start to bear fruit until they were about 6 years old. And at the eighth year, they are just beginning to bear enough to make them worthwhile to spray. If they are producing blossoms, they’re keepers. We’ve had such strange Springs the last few years. Last year the little orchard in our back yard didn’t produce more than half a bushel of apples, the year before we couldn’t keep up with them.

  22. Apples generally are 6 years, but it also depends on your root stock; a semi-dwarf tree will bear a couple of years earlier than a standard-size tree, for instance. But, it depends on the tree and what age it was when you purchased it. I have another younger apple that has been wonderful. It has almost no chilling hours and it fruits weeks before the other trees in my garden.

  23. Becky, your sewing projects sound more interesting then the average. Do you sew costumes for plays, that kind of thing?

  24. Happy Birthday Elsa.. Sounds like she is going to have a wonderful one.
    Goals this week.. Clean and organize my sewing room., Organize my pantry for my grocery shopping trip
    this week [I only buy once a month, but I have been sick , so it has been 8 weeks]. Got tax stuff together,
    so I can take them to the tax man, when I go grocery shopping [thus saving on gas ]. Made homemade bread
    and blue berry muffins. Cooked some hamburger meat for freezer ,while cooking some for a supper meal.
    Hope you all have had a great week.

  25. A lot depends on your zone, too. If you’re planting full size trees in zone 5 or colder, it might be a decade before you get a significant crop.

  26. I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and have learned a lot. I wanted to tell you something we learned from someone about apple trees. You need to spank the tree with a belt. Really, it sounds weird, but try spanking it a few times, and do that a couple of times a week for a week or so. We did it last year with our apple trees, and we got the largest crop we have ever gotten.

  27. The tree is probably just taking awhile (to Vickie) to establish. Our apple trees are older so we get crops every year. We notice with our golden delicious that it is more an every other year crop. It bears so abundantly every other year that it almost is like it takes a year off in between to rest up.

    We are hoping for the best for our new peach trees we planted in fall, hardy to zone 4. We got them from Stark Bros. nursery. They are semi dwarf so have to shorter time to production than full size, per the catalog.

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