Friday, August 25, 2023

At the Cottage ~ August 25, 2023

    It was a gardening week here at the cottage.  After getting my squash in last week, I moved on to various types of lettuces and greens.  We have been eating a lot of these, so I am going to be glad when we start harvesting and I don't have to buy them any more.  They are one of the easiest things for me to grow, so it pains me that they are so expensive at the store.

    After I got these in, Colton told me that we were expecting rain on Tuesday.  Rain is so rare and precious where I live, so this sent me into gardening overdrive.  I planted green beans, radishes, beets, carrots, cabbage, and parsnips.  John planted corn and zinnias.  I covered my rows with more wood chips (we are really running out but I think the Lord must have multiplied them for me like the loaves and fishes because I had enough with some left over!) and spread more hay in between.  Ginger helped, obviously.

    Inside, I started my tomato seeds and herb seeds.  I should've done this sooner, but better late than never (I hope).

    What I didn't know was that we weren't just expecting rain- it was a tropical storm!  Not sure how I missed that memo (actually it's because I don't watch/read the news or socialize very often), or I probably wouldn't have planted!  I'm glad I did, though, as we ended up getting a steady, gentle rain that totaled three inches by the time it was over.  This is what I found the next morning:

    That's my squash!  And some of the greens coming up:

    I set out buckets and caught lots of rainwater.  I'm using it for my seedlings and fruit trees, which are still in pots.  Two of our peach trees were completely stripped of their leaves overnight by leafcutter ants, so I'm having to haul them into the shed at night and back outside in the morning until Colton can find the ant colony and poison them.  They are nearly impossible to fight.  All the websites basically say "good luck".  We'll try.

    With all of the planting I did, I thought I should really keep a better record than I have in years past, so I created a gardening journal using one of the binders I bought over the tax-free weekend.  I used free printables from JES (here and here) and these, which I found on Pinterest from The Fairy Printsess.  There are so many free options to choose from that I was able to customize it and get exactly what I wanted. 

    Some of the pages:

    I also included print-outs from my local nursery on planting times for our area and care guides for some of the trees and plants I have.

    While I was at it, I made a weekly/monthly planner using free printables from Shining Mom, which I also found on Pinterest (just type in "free planner printables" and you will get loads of results).  The planner I have used in the past is wonderful but expensive, so this time I am opting for "free".  I was able to get the pages that will fit my needs, and they are pretty!

    I do so much better with lists because it means less for me to remember!  Getting things onto paper means getting them out of my brain, which means less stress about all the to-do's.  I can keep track of my Fly Lady schedule this way too.

    This week I tackled a big task and organized and inventoried the freezers (we have three if you count the one in the fridge).  Now I can see what all we have, what we need to buy, and what we need to use.  Sometimes I open them just to admire my work!  I added the inventory sheets to the back of my planner, along with a master list of meal ideas that we eat and like so that I can meal plan and rotate my stock.

    It was a no-spend week, except for buying apples, which I could not pass up.  There is a discount produce store in the city where Colton works and I always check their Facebook page for deals.  Once we bought a 40lb box of bananas for $5!  We shared them, ate them, froze them, baked with them, and my dad freeze dried heaps for us to eat as snacks.  This time it was organic apples for $1 per pound!  I bought 18lbs of Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, and Fuji varieties.  This coming week I will process them into apple butter, applesauce, juice, and dried slices.  Because they are organic, I can also use the peels for making jelly and/or vinegar.

    I am still working on my wardrobe.  I had ordered some clothes online during tax-free weekend (are you tired of hearing about "tax-free weekend" yet??) when the boys had their shopping spree.  Most of them came in this week, so I was able to try everything on and see what worked and what didn't.  Most of it didn't, which I expected, but that's ok.  I've become very picky about my clothes because I don't want a closet full of things that I avoid wearing for one reason or another.  I'd rather have the money for things I feel good in, so I will keep the pieces I really like and get a nice refund for the ones I don't.  

    This was the view out my window as I tried things on during all the rain: 

    Could there be a cozier scene? 

    Meanwhile, I've been putting more effort into my every day attire with the purpose of looking nice for my family.  I had fallen into the comfy t-shirt and worn out denim skirt trap, and it wasn't pretty!  Here is an example of my recent efforts:

Top: Goodwill
Skirt: made by me about 15 years ago!

    It isn't anything fancy, but I think it's lovely anyway.  Lovely is the goal.

    How was your week?  I'd love to hear!


  1. I love the skirt! What a wonderful gift God gave with the rain on your planted seeds!

    1. Thank you, Lana!
      We are so happy about the rain. We keep thanking God for it and praying over our garden!

  2. "It isn't anything fancy, but I think it's lovely anyway. Lovely is the goal. "
    What an inspiring thought!

  3. I love your outfit.....but am humbled as I sit here in comfy t-shirt and slouchy skirt. Sigh. Thanks for the tip for free planners on-line! Great idea and resource. Have fun with all the apple making goodness this week...yum!! Happy Monday!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! I love being comfortable, so "dressing up" can be a real struggle for me sometimes. I did wear a t-shirt the other day, too, but I made an effort to elevate it by tucking it in and rolling up/cuffing the sleeves a little. Sometimes just those little things can make an outfit look more put together and thought out!

  4. I love the sight of seedlings coming up! I also love your skirt! Also the planner is lovely and I am going to follow your link, also to the inventory. xxx

    1. Thank you, Annabel! Seeing seedlings come up is always exciting!

  5. I love my planner too. I bought one, but it has worked so well that I’m scared to try a new one. I love how you got your garden planted. I also love that you made great use of the specials at the green grocer. I must make more of an effort with my appearance. I still need to exercise more and eat better. It can be hard to find the time as a Mum and wife. But I must. You look beautiful and your hair is so pretty. I love your outfit. Love Lily (Bridget)

    1. Thank you, Lily! I think a planner that works for you is such an asset, so I would consider that a good investment if you have one you like.
      Exercising and eating better is an ongoing struggle for me, too! With some recent health issues, I've really not had much choice. If I did, I'm sure I would eat very poorly and that's why I have the problems I have (I love sugar and sweets)! 😅 Really I am just reaping what I have sewn, with genetics not in my favor healthwise. I do slip up here and there but the effort I am making is helping and it is spilling over into other areas of self-care, like my appearance. I am right there with you- it is hard as a mom since we spend so much time caring for others, so I am looking at these things as another way to serve my family, as opposed to looking at it as being about me. That sort of mindset is helping. Hopefully I will get more of a chance to write about it soon. Thank you for your comment and encouragement!

  6. Hi Kelsey, how exciting to get one good rain and have your veggies sprouting already! That looks like a good planner you printed. I go back and forth with planners. It seems I can never settle on the one that meets all my needs. I used to have a big household book where I would keep all the forms - calendar, menu, to-do's, etc. But over the years I got away from making my own. Maybe I need to go back to that and customize what I need.
    I think you're being very wise about saving money and only filling your closet with things that you will truly wear. I am horrible about buying something, then hating it later.
    I recently bought some things online and all of them fit and it was a success.
    It was good catching up with you :)
    Have a wonderful week!

    By the way, my blog address changed, so if you have the old address listed as those you read, please change it to:

    1. Thank you for letting me know about your new blog address! I do have your blog bookmarked and was so disappointed to see it shut down, so I'm happy to see that you just moved!

      I understand about the planners. I am not always diligent about using them, so the free printable version is good for me, as there is no guilt if I don't fill all the pages! Having them in a binder means I can just take the blank pages out and move them to another spot.

      That's great that you found some clothes you feel good about. Clothes shopping can be so difficult- it's exciting to have some success!

      Thank you for catching up! I will bookmark your new blog address so I can visit you again, too.


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