Apple Branches


Monday is Labor Day, a holiday in the U.S. I’ve written a list of cleaning and organizational goals for the family to work on that day, including cleaning out the refrigerator, washing windows, cleaning the kitchen, scrubbing bathtubs, scrubbing the kitchen floor by hand, and cleaning bedrooms.

Liberty’s birthday is this week, and I need to make her gifts. I had hoped to start last week, but no such luck, so I’ll have to work quickly.

The weather forecast has changed again (of course!) and above 106ºF temperatures are, unfortunately, expected again this week. I’ll try to get at least an hour’s worth of work done in the garden, even if it is bits and pieces snatched here and there in the cooler morning hours.



1. Sew a pair of pajama pants for Liberty

2. Make necklace for Liberty

3. Sew reinforcements into a tarp. Afterwards, sew loops onto the tarp to make it possible to tie it down



1. Do at least an hour of trimming/weeding

2. Pick apples

3. Cut flowers/branches for the house

4. Finish gathering lettuce seeds



1. Slice and dry pears and apples

2. Crumble dried herbs and put them into jars

3. Make chocolate frogs as a gift for Liberty

4. Make cupcakes for Liberty’s birthday




1. Trip to library to pick up requested schoolbooks for Winter

2. Trip to Sam’s Club

3. Trip to Post Office to finally mail baby gifts


Personal Goals:


1. Read at least 1 chapter a day of The Book of Mormon in French

2. Complete at least one section of French on Duolingo each day

3. Go walking 4 mornings

4. Ride my bike one morning

5. Exercise using my 15 minute exercise video at least two days this week


Preparation Goals (in addition the the tarp sewing above):


1. Go through two 72-hour kits with my husband and update them

2. Bucket powdered milk and other items

3. Make a new list of amounts needed to update our food storage using this list

4. Take pictures of items we are going to list for sale (the money will be used to purchase preparedness items)


Blog Goals:

I have several blog posts going up this week, including one on 72-hour kits and one on fall gardening. Check back for these!


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  1. Yes, the heat here is supposed to ‘extra’ high again this week. Weather man tells us that NEXT weekend we have a 30% chance of rain. It is also supposed to drop into the 90’s. The humidity is just so high here it is almost impossible to do out side chores. I go out at first light to take out trash etc. and the humidity is like getting hit with a wet blanket. I do get some early morning chores done, but it sure wears me out.
    My goals this week are similar to yours. The ‘normal’ frugal things. I also took some turkey from the freezer. I will bake it to make a dinner, some lunch meat, and some soup for our meals. I am sewing every day/evening on Christmas gifts. I like to be done by Halloween but I do not think I will make it this year.
    In church this morning our Pastor Joe gave us a challenge to meet our neighbors (other than the ones on just the side of our home) and be a example of Christ’s love to them. An example was given about a woman who moved her picnic table to the front yard and she sat out there every morning and evening to speak to people as they walked by. After a few days she had them sitting at her table sharing coffee or tea and cookies and she learned a lot about her neighborhood she did not know. So as I could follow the example, I had my grandsons and husband move our back yard ‘porch’ swing to the front yard. It is going to be my goal to sit out in the evenings after it cools a bit to speak and meet some of our neighbors. I want to follow the example and show our Lord’s love to others and not keep it ‘secret’ what God’s love can do in a person’s life when they open up to receiving it.
    I will make a bank trip, I will go to library, I will make a trip to Sam’s too. I have several appointments to make for my husband too. I am also going to take another box of out grown clothes to the Salvation Army and drop off.

  2. My goals for this week are to:
    Make breakfasts for the week ahead like granola, muffins, and pancakes. This ensures I get a healthy breakfast before running out the door in the morning.
    Prep ahead for dinners during the week. This saves me so much time when I come home from work!
    Finish the blizzard fleece blanket for my son-in-law’s birthday.

  3. Hello Brandy and all from Australia.

    Our weeks goals are in the garden –
    – Weed rest of back paddock garden vegetable beds.
    – Set up drip irrigation system to water all vegetable patches.
    – Plant some dwarf beans, butter & green and dwarf peas.
    – Harvest broccoli, some chives and spring onions.

    Grocery shopping –
    – Look for specials on smoked oysters & stock up if on special.
    – stock up on tinned peas if on special.
    – stock up on a couple of tinned carrots if on special.

    Hobby business
    – Catch up on making some journal book covers, curtain tiebacks, and eye masks to get stock levels back up after they were sold.

  4. I’ve had “clean out the freezer” on my to-do list for too long! We have a family gathering on Labor Day, so the freezer will have to wait a bit longer. I’m thinking about doing the refrigerator one shelf per day if I must so at least I can get that cleaned.

    I have a list of meal recipes for which I want to pre-assemble ingredients. My plan is to put each set of ingredients with a copy of the recipe/instructions into a container so I can get supper quickly on busy evenings (or evenings I forget to thaw something!).

    I also have several new recipes I want to try. Hopefully I’ll move most of them from my “Recipes I’d Like to Try” Pinterest board to the “Recipes I’ve Tried and Liked” board.

    I’m looking forward to your fall gardening post, Brandy!

  5. I am also using the Labor Day as a day do work on some house-related things. I am going to clean up my closets, organize my warmer clothing and put away most of the summer dresses.
    I also have a HUGE pile of clothing for ironing. I probably shall not even mention that I started the pile sometime in June. Since I did not get to ironing at all this summer some of the clothing did not get worn, not even once this season. (big shame on me). I will see if I can tackle all of it tomorrow.

  6. I love your blog…it helps me to know that my frugal nature has friends out there! I love to grow and preserve herbs, veggies and fruits too. I have found that, when dehydrating/drying herbs, it is best to dry them as whole as possible and crumble them at the last minute. This helps retain the flavor longer.

  7. Love your posts Brandy! They are quite inspirational. Where is the cheapest place that you have found to obtain the food grade buckets for food storage, and the Gama lids?

  8. Leigh–you and I must be equally fond of cleaning the refrigerator–or equally NOT fond of it. I generally try to do a shelf or two at a time, because I would NEVER get it done if I had to do the entire thing at once. We are only 2 people, and we have a fairly large refrigerator, but it seems to be always FULL and overflowing! I KNOW the door shelves should be the next in line–I might have to put that on my list for this week, for sure!

  9. Brandy, I find it difficult to believe that raising 7 children and growing your own food does not keep you exercised as much as anyone could possibly need, and yet I see it on your to do list lately. Or maybe bicycling and exercising gives you some “thinking” time as well as the physical exercise? Or housework skips a few muscles that you don’t want missed? Maybe you’re modeling good behavior for health for your children! Your list is very comprehensive, and much more organized than anything found in my house. No one will ever accuse you of not aiming high enough! Thanks for my smile of the day–it just struck me as TOO much to ask of yourself, with everything else you have to do.

  10. This week I have to clean the windows, and do a lot of laundry. My sons normally have growth spurts in late fall and my eldest went early, so we need to try on all his things to see what still fits. The children are very overtired with the start of school, and have been too wacky to make it to dinner all week. I am going to try feeding them at five, I’m making a big pot of my husband’s favorite soup( French onion) so that after they are in bed he can have a hot dinner.
    We are doing a huge eBay online garage sale push this week, so I’ll be gathering things for that as well. I have to order two birthday presents too.

  11. Hi from central iowa today should be the last of this stretch of horrid heat and humidity we have storm set to hit tonight if it doesn’t go severe and we are in for a repeat tomorrow eve. there will be huge amts of rain and flooding will be issues again but after all that there is a break in the temps 80, then 70, then 60’s.

    i to am working on a bday gift for our daughter she saw this on pintrest so it was quit an ordeal this far i feel like i have been stuffing intestines i used a pc of fabric i had and got three made and stuffed I plan to tie the celtic knots tomorrow and finish them then i want to make a bracelet and necklace with same knot after that it will be back to working on Christmas gifts….I know i have no right to moan over the weather with you all having it way hotter but it kicks the stuffing out of me

  12. Age has a way of slowing our metabolism . . . and making us gain weight. The intense French study I did in July also meant less physical movement, and I gained 4 pounds in July. If that was all I had to lose, that would be great, but in all honesty, I’d like to lose 27 pounds. I’d also like to be more in shape.

    I haven’t yet lost anything in the last three weeks, despite exercising and eating smaller portions. When I used the exercise video before a few years back, I was 10 pounds less than I am now (and my waist was 4 inches smaller), but I’ve gained that back. I read recently that you need 2 1/2 hours of moderate exercise a week to maintain your weight, and 5 hours to lose weight. All I’ve added is 2 1/2 hours, so I’m going to need to put in more time in order to lose weight (as well as continuing to watch my portion sizes), which is why I want to add another 30 minutes a week doing the video. I can’t see how to fit in 5 hours, but at least something is better than the nothing I’ve been doing. I’m hoping when temperatures cool down I can get more exercise in the garden as well. I don’t spend much time in the garden in this heat.

    I’m walking 2 1/4 miles when I walk, and biking the same amount.

    It’s a start, and hopefully I’ll see a difference before the temperatures cool, so that I can fit in my jeans when fall comes.

  13. My goals this week wall to the corner 4 houses down and back from mine, to help with building my strength after back surgery 2.5 weeks ago. I have been back onto helping in the house and this will be out second week that it will be just my 12 yr old, myself and my 20 month old during the day, as family stayed with us for almost 2 months helping us out before and after the surgery. It’s nice to be able to do things my way as I found out they did things their way and the house is mixed up and things not in the right place. So I am gradually going though closets making sale piles, getting our budget for groceries back to where it should be and working on our preparedness stuff all over again, restocking pantry, 72hr kits and trying to find a pattern and fabric I Baugh before I got hurt so I can gradually make the toy for my little one for her birthday in December. I would also like to get my fall garden thought out and ready to plant once it’s time. 🙂

  14. I had to chuckle when I read your reply, Marcia! We do appear to be equally fond of cleaning the fridge. Hopefully next week we can both report that job being completed!

  15. I have all of our fall/winter clothing sorted in the garage and ready to be brought in and washed. That will add about 8 loads of laundry to my week. Also in that clothing is my maternity items. I’m 14 weeks with baby 7 the maternity clothes are a priority. I also need to finish changing 3 pairs of pants into skirts for my oldest daughter and make the wool sweaters I’ve felted/fulled into diaper covers and lanolize them. And of course homeschool 5 days.

  16. I would be interested in a post on your emergency kits and the other things you have done to be prepared in an emergency ( like your gorgeous new wood stove!) 🙂 We are trying to “prep” as well.

  17. I sold two things! I made 15 dollars which is very cheering. I hope I can finally sell the highchair soon. I am hoping to make enough cash this week to pay for any OOP expenses like gas and milk.

  18. I don’t have a weeks worth of goals just two days, I have surgery Wednesday.
    — finish cooking and assembling meals
    — wash all clothes and sheets..almost done and lay out the kids clothes for the next week and a half, I normally only prep clothes for a week at a time but I feel with the upcoming recoup time the extra few days prepped will come in handy
    — finish weeding the prepping the garden for fall. I am hesitant to plant as it as been so dry here, like the tops of the trees dying dry, but with carefully watering I will pray all seeds make it.

  19. This will be my to do list, I think I may even print it out! Love the idea of a weekly list.

    # Check freezers and meal plan
    # Move out fireplace ready for the log burner that’s coming on Thursday.
    # Start stripping the wallpaper off in the living room
    # Look after my friends son for the afternoon
    # Make the weeks bread and breakfast roll with cinnamon and raisins in.
    # Forage for blackberries
    # Pick up sticks and pine cones when walking for the fire.
    # Walk children to school and back every day 4 miles a day. Complete free exercise programs on YouTube three times this week.
    # Keep to my low carb diet.
    # Work in the garden, de head the roses, plant out the lemon balm and blackcurrant brush. Pull up the onions, leave to dry then store away. Pick the last of the blueberries and the rhubarb. Check the apples trees for spotted apples/caterpillars.
    # Finish building the greenhouse and put in water system ready for spring. (Greenhouse was £30 from Ebay)
    # Clean and varnish the living room doors.

    Have a great week everyone.

  20. I am looking forward to your post on the 72 hour kits. Thank you for sharing all your information with us. One of my highlights of the week is seeing what your going to be doing that week and how you manage your house. I would love to see a menu for the week that you feed your family. I know the one about how to make cheap meals. The only thing with those is there isn’t any meat included in them. I just wonder what you make for meals these days. Thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us.

  21. Winco for gamma lids and then Amazon is the next lowest price; I have a link on my bulk foods page (Under cook, then learn, then Bulk Foods). Home Depot and Lowe’s have food grade 5 gallon buckets and they are the lowest price I’ve found on buckets.

  22. Chantal,

    I have 4 1/2 months of menus, and they do include meat! Look under Cook, then Menus, and you will see seasonal menus there. I don’t follow them exactly (for example, I don’t make those exact meals in that exact order every month), because I use what I have, but I use them to plan meals. I do better planning one day at a time when it comes to meals; planning for a week never works well for me, as sometimes things come up that necessitate changes.

  23. Sorry for about that. I didn’t seem to notice the meat. Thank you for letting me know. I will be going over your menu for more idea’s.

  24. Cleaning the fridge has been on my list for too long too. Maybe we need a support group? 😀 Finally got up extra early this morning to get it done before the garbage collection comes. 🙂 One of the best Mother’s Day presents ever was the year I was still in the barf-constantly phase of pregnancy and hubby cleaned the fridge out for me! (He would do it more often, but I like it done my way!)

  25. Mariana, I started using Dollar General’s wrinkle release spray a few years ago. I love it! The only time I use the iron now is for quilting projects.:D

  26. Brandy,

    I bought the dehydrator from your link and am loving it! I have made fruit roll-up, from fruit my kids don’t like to eat raw (mostly plums.) I have also dehydrated lemons and am using them to make lemonade without having to juice all the lemons! You said you were dehydrating apples and pears. Do you just eat them like chips? My kids don’t like freeze dried apples or pears, so I am leery of trying dehydration, for fear they won’t like them. I looked on your links above and didn’t see any tutorials on dehydrating. Do you treat the apples/pears before in lemon juice to prevent browning? (Will it make them sour?) I would love a post on your dehydrating and then how you consume these foods! (Please if it is out there, my apologies, but I didn’t see anything that lead me to believe they were there.)

  27. I think it’s a great way to meet your neighbors. I will caution that people don’t like to be preached to. If you must, I would suggest keeping your comments to what god has done for you. Talk about you and your family and how your faith has improved your life. Same message, less “your life choices are bad”.

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