After a very busy Memorial Day spent doing lots of chores, I’ve written my list of to-dos for the week. It is 102º today; I spent a lot of time outside yesterday. I still have many garden tasks left.

Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish this week (not counting things like laundry, homeschooling, regular cooking and cleaning, etc.):


1. Thin and transplant (thinned) alpine strawberry plants in the garden (an evening job)

2. Pick blackberries as they ripen

3. Harvest chamomile

4. Spend one hour weeding

5. Sweep front garden walkways

6. Pull bolted lettuce in the front yard

7. Thin and transplant thinned basil in the garden (an evening job)

8. Work in friend’s garden, hand-pollinating squash, weeding, and watering, and taking care of her chickens

9. Pick tomatoes as they ripen

Cooking and canning:

1. Cook/ use several things from the freezer to make more space

2. Make French bread

3. Steam spinach

4. Can more pickled beets


1. Finish modifying one dress

2. Check out the purse patterns I pinned on Pinterest and hopefully choose one to make


1. Paint second coat on step stool early one morning before breakfast when it is cool enough to paint

2. Paint second coat on baseboards in the bathroom

3. Finish necklace by Thursday


1. Write two blog posts

2. Photograph images for posts


1. Watch Creative Live free class on photographing and retouching different skin types and colors. I won’t be able to see the whole thing, but I’ll try to catch a good amount.

2. Learn how to butcher and pluck chickens* (this is dependent upon our friend returning and wanting to do it this week; it may get moved to early next week. We will work out a day when he is in town). *I just found out that they won’t be back until next week, so we will do these then.


1. Clean freezer above inside refrigerator

2. Clean the refrigerator part of both refrigerators

Visiting Teaching:

1. Visit both of the sisters on my route on Wednesday. (For the readers who asked, visiting teaching is something that we do through our church. Women visit other women and share a spiritual message with them, see if they are in need of anything (and help them if so), and befriend them. We are assigned sisters to visit by the leader of the women’s organization (the Relief Society) in our congregation, who makes the assignments after much prayer. We are assigned a companion (another woman from church) with whom to visit the sisters. In this way, we watch over and strengthen one another).


1. Put together items to take to my speaking engagement this Thursday (details here if you will be in Henderson and would like to attend).

2. Speak on Thursday night

Okay–time for me to get off the computer and start getting things done!

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  1. The FP family is moving from Pennsylvania to Denver this week! So my goal is to keep my two toddlers feeling as secure as possible while finishing the packing, taking them on a 25-hour drive (just me and them in the car–Mr. FP will be driving the moving truck), and hopefully not spending too much money on food and incidentals while travelling. Should be an adventure!

  2. Sorry but my ipad got stuck in the comment box before I could tell you how to find the pattern for that handbag. Just go to YouTube and search for Reversible Handbag by Debbie Shore. So fun to make and versatile!

  3. Since we don’t eat the skin anyway, when I kill our chickens, we just pull the skin off the carcass, and all the feathers come with it! Then we gut them. Even with a plucker you end up with little feathers left. Your to-do list makes me feel like a slacker!!

  4. Hello Katie! Here is the recipe I use but I substitute 9oz of cooked lentils for the tofu and instead of almond meal I substitute matzo meal since I buy that anyway and don’t want to buy almond meal. If you read through the comments there are other substitutions as well, including grinding up oats to use in place of almond meal. Also, the recipe calls them “hot dogs” but to me they are more of a sausage. If you like them, check around online for cheaper Vital Wheat Gluten. It’s expensive to buy a little box in the grocery store. are other recipes including on Post Punk Kitchen if you want to look there for other options, but the one I use is from Baked In.Debbie

  5. I well remember my Mom buying chickens at the open air market in Buffalo when I was a kid, and coming home to pluck them and cook them. She scalded them, plucked, and then singed off the smaller feathers over the flame from a gas range. They were bought live but the farmer would kill them before you brought them home, which we appreciated!! Much nicer to pick them up wrapped in plastic at the supermarket, in terms of preparation anyhow. I remember having spinach most Saturday nights as a vegetable, since that was when she did her shopping and she used the spinach first so it was always fresh! We certainly were less picky eaters than most kids today, although there was a time when neither my sister nor I would eat pizza, or whipped cream. We grew out of that phase. I do remember eating what we were given without complaint, as canned Spam and canned corned beef were never high on my list of favorites. I didn’t like lemon meringue pie either and just skipped dessert if that was on the menu. Today I love all things lemon but I think it was too tart for younger taste buds. I still make it from scratch. I learned to beat egg whites using a regular table fork in a shallow dish, like a soup plate or oval serving dish. Not too many people do it that way any more. (I started cooking seriously at 13 and I’m now 71. I still LOVE to cook.

  6. I don’t even like handling chicken from the supermarket. It just grosses me out somehow just to do the necessary trimming and handling. I know my husband wishes we had chicken more often. It doesn’t bother me to handle beef. Go figure.

  7. I decided to jump on the goal wagon too. My goals for the remainder of the week (Wednesday-Sunday) are:Make French Bread (my family loves your recipe)Clean off the kitchen table and put away all the kidding stuff. (Kidding means goat birth)Clean out the barnClean off the little green dresser.Clean off the sewing machine cabinetRead the scriptures every dayResume gratitude journal nightly

  8. Dear Miss Brandy and readers,Here are my goals for the week:Weekly declutter projectsDelutter laundry room, hall closet and 1 item from garageSpring cleaning projectsScrub staircase and railingsScrub kitchen floorImprove communication with childrenPlan one dinner to sit and listen to children Spending planDevelop $0 spending plan using FPUReview spending plan and negotiate with one creditor to reduce paymentsSelect one bill to pay off for June Earn extra income monthlyWork on surveys, Swag Bucks, and extra jobsParticipate in relaxation activitiesGo to the libraryGet a video for family to watchDevelop a minimal summer wardrobe using clothes on handWeed out clothes not neededReturn to couponingCut couponsGive back to communityServe dinner for underprivileged Create gifts using craft skills Embroider 4 hankiesSew 2 pillow casesCrochet last 2 for blue scarf projectAdd new row to crocheted bedspread Cross-stitch July 4th ornamentsExercise dailyWalk 30 minutes every day Launch child to university lifeMake a list of basic and needed dorm itemsMake school color fleece throwFill out forms for universityVisit universitySend final HS transcriptGrow a gardenClear garden areaHarvest garden itemsTake care of selfTake BPOrder monthly medicationsWork on AM/PM routinesMake a dentist appointmentGo on a vacation this summerIdentify dates for a stay at home vacationPurchase a new carEvaluate cash funds for new carEat healthy this summer Make a menu planLimit grocery shoppingVisit Farmers Market and local farm for produceBuy strawberries to make freezer preservativesMake smoothie popsiclesMake ice Cut up vegetables and fruitBegin freezer cooking for June (see list)Best wishes,Anna

  9. Your goals for the week leave me ‘tired’ just reading them. You work a lot. My uncle raised rabbits for the 4 H club. I of coarse was just a little kid and made ‘pets’ of all the rabbits in the cages. I fed them, petted them, and just loved them. When I saw my grandfather kill one it made me so sad. Then that night he tried to tell me it was CHICKEN for supper. I did not believe him for one minute and went to bed without supper because I could not eat my pet. I admire that you are ready, willing, and able to learn about butchering chickens etc. That is part of the circle of life and we all need to know how to do these things. I wish I could hear you speak. I am sure I would enjoy it very much.I do work a job at home that takes about 60 hours a week. I have a licensed home child care and take care of 4 infants all under the age of 18 months. So I am tired at the end of the day. I try to set a set of goals each week, sometimes they all get done, some times they do not. Blessings

  10. LOL, we were so worried about leaving turkey guts in there, we ended up chopping it up and freezing the pieces. It didn’t look pretty on the dining room table that Thanksgiving, but we thought not looking pretty was nicer than accidently leaving in the poop-sac and making our guests sick. (I’m very technical about these terms, aren’t I?)

  11. Maybe too much water. It’s rained 3 times this week. I fertilized 2 weeks ago with a time release fertilizer. I’ll check later and see if the veins look green. Thank you Brandy for your help.

  12. I’m looking forward to your post about the chicken butchering. I have been trying to come up with the courage to butcher the four extras that we have. I’m tempted to try the machete method that I saw on “Alaska the Last Frontier”, which by the way is my favorite TV show – about a 4th generation homesteading family in Alaska. Not sure when the new season starts but I’m hoping it will be soon.We live in central Texas and experience summer temperatures similar to yours. I found a spinach that actually thrives in our hot, dry summers. It’s called Malabar and I bet it would work for you. No way can we grow lettuce or other greens during that time – it just gets bitter. I couldn’t find the seed locally but it was readily available on line.Thank you for your wonderful blog. You are such an inspiration to so many. I keep sharing your link with my friends!

  13. I don’t know that there will be a post of chicken butchering 🙂 I won’t be taking my camera as I’ll be busy the whole time. Our friend uses a traffic cone that has the top cut down a little. The cone is held upside down (he has it attached to something) and the chicken goes in, head first. The head is cut off and the blood can drain that way. Right next to that he has a huge pot and a way to heat it (it’s all outdoors right outside the door of his coop).I have heard of Malabar spinach; it’s a different plant than spinach, though it is called that. I know it grows here but I have not tried it. Swiss chard grows fine throughout the heat, so I grow that all year. It doesn’t get bitter in summer and it only bolts in April for me. I just plant more in April and grow it all year long. I did plant some earlier than that this year that is a bit bigger; my other plants are small still. I actually have some spinach in a shadier area in my garden right now. It is Bloomsdale Long-Standing. I planted it later in the spring; in March. The area gets afternoon shade. It’s in the front yard. It is doing well. Normally that type bolts for me by now, but that is with January-planted seeds. I am excited to have some still going, so I’ll try planting this one again later next year. It has longer leaves, like chard, but the taste is very good. It is the one that has grown best for me every year. It is an heirloom spinach, so you can collect seeds from it when it does bolt.

  14. First of all, I love your site! I love that you show how you can be wise w/ resources in beautiful and creative ways!I have a few blog post ideas if you are ever feel like sharing your thoughts on the following:-Inexpensive travel tips (esp. taking food on the road that adds to the fun. Sandwiches are easy and affordable, but what else is good when you are eating out of a cooler?)-How to hold a successful garage sale. I feel like the people for whom it’s easy to turn a profit are the people who bought oodles of cute trendy things they hardly used– which is not really us. I had a garage sale and it was beneficial from the standpoint of community building (got to know a few neighbors better) kid entertainment (they had fun & made $ on their kool-aid sales) and cleaning out, but it was a lot of work for how much money the sale actually yielded. I only have one about every 5 yrs, so take your time responding, but I’d love to know your secrets.-Real estate advice- I know your husband is in real estate, so your family has great insights on this topic. Housing is HUGE compared to pinching pennies on the food budget. (I know that little things add up over time, but big things add up faster.) Any tips on saving on remodeling, refinancing, etc?-Household management in terms of kids chores/ cleaning schedules.Thanks again for sharing your wisdom!

  15. We don’t travel. This year will be the first time we take a family trip–to my brother’s wedding. We will be packing food in the cooler, but I am not an expert on this subject at all. I am planning on making bread and slicing it beforehand for sandwiches. I will bake a ham and slice it for sandwiches. We cannot take produce into California, so we will buy in-season fruit that is on sale that week (most likely peaches and grapes, and tomatoes for our sandwiches; I have already found a grocery store near there and I will be searching the ad online ahead of time). We only need to take two lunches, so we’ll have sandwiches both days, and one breakfast, which will most likely be homemade muffins, for simplicity’s sake. Dinner will be served at the reception.The garage sale post is one I am already planning :)Remodeling–the best advice I can give it shop around, look online (Ebay is a cheaper source of cabinet handles than Lowe’s), and then do as much of it yourself as you can. Pay cash for things. If you don’t have the cash, wait until you do.Housing–don’t buy a bigger house than you need 🙂 Don’t just go to your bank for a mortgage loan–shop around (same with a refinance). Do not buy anything big (like a car) when you are trying to buy a house. Buy the house first and then the car to keep your credit score up. Save up and pay cash for changes you want to make in your house. Save up as much as you can for a down payment (if you can save 20% you’ll be able to drop PMI and save a bunch). You’ll also need to save several thousand dollars for closing costs.I have a post on my children’s chores; do a search for chores and you will find it. Also I have a post on my schedule; search for schedule and that will come up.I hope that helps!

  16. Thanks for sharing and allowing us to share on your blog. In our small town in SE NC there are two grocery stores, the smallest Walmart I have ever been to (not a super center), two Dollar Generals and a couple of other dollar stores. The grocery store prices are outrageous here, even sale items as compared to city prices. My husband doesn’t like to shop at Dollar General. I don’t care! I love it. As i mentioned before, almost every week they have a $5.00 off coupon online that you can print off. This comes in handy esp. when they are running a sale and you can use the coupon too. My favorite canned bean (Van Camps Pork and Beans) is on sale this week in our area for $.50 each- I used the coupon and got them for $.45 per can (it would have been less per can, if I had not over spent). I have not seen them this inexpensive in years. Also, the 30.65 oz. Maxwell House Wake-up Roast coffee is on sale for $5.50 per can (if commentors are coffee drinkers). DG has saved us a couple of hundred dollars or more per month since I have starting using them for dry goods. Also, the DG brand dishwasher detergent is $3.00. I like it better than Cascade and it last us over two months. One big thing that has saved us alot of money is the 32 double-roll pkg of DG Home Premium Soft Bathroom tissue paper (2 ply) for $10.00. It is not as soft as Charmin and not as rough as Scott TP – it won’t stop up the toilet like Charmin does. Our family doesn’t complain about this TP either! It last us about a month and 1 week. It is really cheap when you use the coupon! Hope I am not repeating myself on too much of this stuff! It is so exciting to share this info!! Sincerely, Debra from SE NC

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