Category Archives: Planning

Spring To-Do List

I consider myself a pretty organized person.  I also consider myself a pretty hard worker.  AND, a lot of people that know me think that I’m a cleaning fanatic.  I don’t.  I clean a lot but if I don’t have a list to go by and check off, I only do a fair job.  I have lists for everything.  I have Christmas lists, shopping list, gardening list, spring cleaning lists, spring chores, fall chores, and the list goes on and on and on.  I thought I would share two of my lists today.  First is my spring cleaning list and I start preparing this list during the winter when I can’t do much outside and sitting in front of the TV at night, thinking about the things I should be doing!

SPRING CLEANING & OTHER CHORES

In each room:

Dust all decor, furniture(under & around), ceiling fans & lights, walls

Wipe down walls and baseboards, interior and exterior doors

Take down curtains and wash

Clean/shampoo furniture

Wash windows and ceils, inside and out

Clean all trashcans

Clean all fixtures, doorknobs, switch plates, ceiling lights, paintings (including behind)

Clean/replace blinds

Sweep/vacuum

Mop floors

 

In the kitchen:

Purge and organize kitchen

Clean kitchen cabinets and drawers & replace shelving paper

Clean small kitchen appliances

Clean stove top and oven

Clean refrigerator and freezer (new this year, shelving paper on refrigerator shelves and drawers)

Clean all decor on shelves and all wall decor (and behind)

Clean kitchen table and chairs (don’t forget the chair rungs)

Replace kitchen chair pads
In the bedrooms:

Wash bedding

Air the mattresses for several hours and spray w/Lysol

Clean bedroom closets & purge clothing & shoes

Clean Sassy’s bed and replace mattress in her bed

In the bathroom:

Clean bathroom cabinets

Wash shower curtains and liners

Purge medicine and toiletries

Clean the toilet tank, bowl and outside
Special chores to complete during the late spring or during the spring clean:

  • Paint mantel bolts.
  • Make new quilts for bedrooms.
  • Make new hassock covers.
  • Re-finish master bedroom floors .
  • Put down corner round in guest bedroom.
  • Build bookshelves in guest bedroom.
  • Rebuild closet in Master bedroom.
  • Clean out downstairs closet.
  •  

    OUTDOOR CHOIRS  

    • Put water spigot at back of house.
    • Clean up old herb garden.
    • Clean up game feeders.
    • Clean up bus houses & repair.
    • Move lilies, peonies & roses.
    • Board up the back of the milk house.
    • Stack wood in milk house.
    • Fix roof on sugar house.
    • Clean cellar and apple house.
    • Clean up smoke house.
    • Clean out boat house.
    • Clean up  paddle boat.
    • Replace plug in paddle boat
    • Clean up all lawn furniture.
    • Make new pillows for lawn furniture using old denim jeans.
    • Transplant peonies from mansion & red house.
    • Clean up front porch and mop.
    • Refinish & paint exterior doors from porch.
    • Clean up small chick room in hen house.
    • Tar paper interior walls of chicken house.
    • Paint the chicken house roof.
    • Clean up and store the bird feeders
    • Make more birdhouses.
    • Prune all shrubs & roses in yard.
    • Clean up flower beds.
    • Transplant more garlic to large tire planter from haylot.
    • Set up another tire planter for more rhubarb.
    • Set up another tire planter for asparagus.
    • Move furniture out of tractor shed.
    • Cut out and spray all pawpaw sprouts in back yard.
    • Put dinner bells up (corner of front yard and at gazebo).
    • Paint front porch columns.
    • Stain front porch and waterproof.
    • Clean up yard.
    • Put up solar lights at Gazebo.
    • Replace wire over chicken house windows.
    • Put new bedding in chicken nest.
    • Hang chicken water tank from ceiling near food bin.
    • Put new supers on bee hives.
    • Change batteries in solar lights.
    • Clean off potting table in yard and fill with flowers.
    • Transplant white orchid iris, oriental iris and peonies.
    • Prune and tie up raspberries.
    • Clean off tree limbs in apple orchard.

As you can see I have plenty to keep me busy inside and out of the house.  I think I need some elves or get myself cloned about three or four times.  Oh well, if it gets done, wonderful, and if it doesn’t, it’ll be there another year.  As for my clean house,  if visitors come to see my house instead of me, they can pitch in and help!!  Guess I better get off this computer and get busy!! 😉

Pinterest

Do you know what Pinterest is?  Do you have Pinterest boards?  I would love to meet the genius that came up with this wonderful website!!  Pinterest is website for collecting and organizing things you love.  I have    boards and I use them for crafts I want to make later, ideas for decorating, wish lists, and so much more.  It doesn’t take but a few minutes to sign up for an account and it’s free.  You will have a login and password so no one can mess with your boards.  You can see other Pinterest sites that friends and other people have and you can repin things you love from their pin boards.  Check out my site and see some of the thing I truly love!!

You can find it at:                 http://pinterest.com/ritascrafting/    

I have twenty-six boards and 1626 pins as if today.  I have a 127 followers that love the same things I do and I follow 128 pinterest sites.  I have boards for quilting, crafting, gardening, books, blogs, DIY, cooking, handy tips, Country Style, hunting and outdoors, favorite music, barn quilts, crocheting, front porch living, spring cleaning, primitive decor, fall inspiration, Christmas, primitive outdoors.   I love this site and when I see something on the internet that I may want to use in the future, I pin it.  It’s fun, inspiring, it’s so organized and I think you will love it to.  Here’s a quick glimpse of what my pinterest home page looks like:

 

Stores for the winter still in progress

It seems we never finish storing and preparing for winter.  This weekend hubby bought 75# of pork which consisted of three hams and 20# of  jowls.  One of the hams is currently in the smokehouse taking salt, seasoning and brown sugar.  We should be able to enjoy it sometime in March or April.  The rest was made into sausage.

You may ask why we didn’t raise our own hogs and the main reason is the price of corn.  When we figured out the time it takes to raise a couple hogs, feed them sacks and sacks of corn and grains, and then the waste that goes with the processing, we determined it’s much cheaper and efficient to buy from pork sellers.  The cost of the hams was $1.35 per pound and the jowls were $1.00 per pound.  It took us about 12 hours of processing which including some freezing and some canning.

Here’s the process we used to can the sausage:

Fresh ham for sausage

Fresh ham for sausage

First he removes the skin from the ham.

First he removes the skin from the ham.

The skinned hide will be hung outside for the birds.  This is the true version of suet.

The skinned hide will be hung outside for the birds. This is the true version of suet.  The birds love it and it puts some meat on their bones to withstand the winter.

 

Hubby slices the meat off of the ham in slender strips to send through the grinder.

Hubby slices the meat off of the ham in slender strips to send through the grinder.

 

Grinding equipment is sterilized prior to grinding.

Grinding equipment is sterilized prior to grinding.

 

Wide mouth quart jars are also sterilized and dried prior to making the sausage into patties.

Wide mouth quart jars are also sterilized and dried prior to making the sausage into patties.

 

The strips of pork are now ready for the seasoning.

The strips of pork are now ready for the seasoning.

 

Old Plantation seasoning is what we use and one pack will season 25 pounds of ground meat.  It is thoroughly mixed through all the meat.

Old Plantation seasoning is what we use and one pack will season 25 pounds of ground meat. It is thoroughly mixed through all the meat.

 

The grinding begins.  We run it through using a course blade the first time and then using a finer blade the second time.

The grinding begins. We run it through using a course blade the first time and then using a finer blade the second time.

 

Isn't it beautiful!!  It's now ready to be made into patties and packed into the wide mouth jars.

Isn’t it beautiful!! It’s now ready to be made into patties and packed into the wide mouth jars.

 

Seven wide mouth quart jars ready for lids and placing in the pressure canner.

Seven wide mouth quart jars ready for lids and placing in the pressure canner.

 

Pressure canner filled with water, jars of meat and sealed ready for heating. I cook it for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

Pressure canner filled with water, jars of meat and sealed ready for heating. I cook it for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

 

After the canner cools down the jars are placed on the table out of way of ALL drafts and covered with a heavy towel until they cool completely before taking them to the cellar.

After the canner cools down the jars are placed on the table out of way of ALL drafts and covered with a heavy towel until they cool completely before taking them to the cellar.

 

While they cooked we tried some for supper and it was wonderful.  Pancakes and sausage are on the menu for breakfast.

Fresh cooked sausage patties ready for a big fat biscuit.

Fresh cooked sausage patties ready for a big fat biscuit.

We canned 28 quarts of sausage and froze the remainder in bags much like you see in the grocers.  We’ll use this first instead of the canned because we found that frozen sausage keeps really well in vacumned sealed bags but they are expensive.  Since we only had about 15 pounds left over we decided to use the bags pictured in the following photo.  These bags just don’t keep the meat from freezer burn as well.  We have a tape machine that seals the bags but they’re not airtight.

Grinding the sausage straight into the bags, twist them up and slide through the tape machine to seal.

Grinding the sausage straight into the bags, twist them up and slide through the tape machine to seal.

All done!!

Sampler quilt beginnings

I’ve set a goal for the year of completing a king-sized sampler quilt in burgundy as the primary color.  I started it yesterday and completed six 10 inch blocks.  Now, I just have to keep it up and hopefully have all of the 200+ blocks completed in three months, I hope!!  I thought I would share the blocks as I go along so this will be a continuing post.  Here’s the first six:

Block  #1

Block #1

Block #2

Block #2

Blcok  #3

Blcok #3

Block #4

Block #4

Block #5

Block #5

Block #6

Block #6

I think this is a pretty good start and if I 12 weeks to complete 200 blocks, that means I have to complete about 17 blocks a week, which works out to three a day for the next three months.  WOW!  Maybe I’d better rethink this time limit and make it six months instead of three.  Oh well, I will get it done and I will post as I go.  Wish me luck!!  Did I tell you I also have three baby quilts to start and finish by JUNE 2013!!!!!!!

Birthday Present

I think I told you last week that my wonderful hubby got me a new HP desktop computer for my birthday and Christmas!  I’m getting used to the new programs and catching on pretty quick.  Now, I just need to catch up on some posting.  Hubby knows how much I miss my blog!!

My daughter and family got me a new crafting table for my quilt room.  I spent “three” hours putting it together this morning.  It didn’t take so much time because it was complicated, it was because I took so much time getting up and down out of the floor trying to put it together.  Here’s how it went without me in the pictures:

Not out of the box yet

Not out of the box yet

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!!  Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part !  :)

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!! Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part ! 🙂

 

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

 

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up.  This is going to be so useful!!

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up. This is going to be so useful!!

 

Table top is together and on it's feet (and me too!).  Daughter helped me turn it up and we inspect for sturdiness.

Can’t wait to get started on some new quilts and other projects.

The year is almost three quarters gone and what did I do?

                                                                                                                                                                    January -Ice and snow

February-Making maple syrup

January-February – grafting fruit trees

February – March – Seedlings started

March – Baby calves arrive

March-April – Spring turkey hunting for two of my favorite people.

April – fire wood for winter 2012

April – New equipment for working the cattle

April – More new fencing

May – Gardening begins

May – Honeybees cleaning house and we prepare for fresh honey

May – Bee swarming begins

May – Fruit trees bloom and we worry about late frosts.

June 2012 – 1st ever “duratio” in our neck of the woods. Lots of cleanup and keeping hubby busy!

June – Duratio takes down lots of our fruit and nut crop and wreaks havoc on our fencing.

June – Hay time

June – Hay lot is full!

July – Spring cleaning almost done!

July – Harvesting & canning for winter in full swing!

July – A little crafting along the way makes life fun!

July – First barn quilt in Craig County on the barn!! More fun!

August-September – Mammoth pumpkin from the garden. He almost didn’t fit the wheel barrow!

July – August – Fresh vegies from the garden.

September – Potatoes harvested and in the cellar.

September – Plowing to sow the winter crops (turnips & parsnips).

September – Spaghetti sauce and barbecue sauce from the last of the tomatoes.

And, here it is the end of September.  Deer season and turkey season is soon to be here.  Baby calves are coming and yearlings are headed to the market.  Two nights of cold temps and frost in the mornings means firing up the wood stoves.  The cycle starts again.

Time to think of fall chores

Autumn Leaves

Do you keep a list of chores for each season?  I do and mainly to have a “go-to” when I want a quick chore in the evenings before dark.  Sounds anal I know but lots of times after I get home from work I want something quick to do so I don’t just crash on the couch immediately after supper.  All of the things on the list are important to complete before winter and probably only to me.  Here’s my list:

  • Gather flower seeds.
  • Clean all of the fans before storing for winter.
  • Store pillows/covers on porch furniture.
  • Spray porches and around house several times for spiders and other bugs.
  • Clean & take patio furniture to barn.  Cover.
  • Put new bedding in dog boxes.
  • Cover Chicken house windows.
  • Paint chicken house roof.
  • Clean out chicken roost.
  • Put new bedding in chicken nest.
  • Hang chicken water tank from ceiling near food bin.
  • Store new apple and chestnut trees  in mansion cellar.
  • Clean up green house.
  • Hang plastic for spring planting in green house.
  • Put up shelving in green house.
  • Order seeds for spring planting.
  • Clean off strawberry, garlic and asparagus garden & mulch.
  • Clean off flower beds and mulch.
  • Clean up gazebo and stain before cold weather.
  • Clean up smokehouse.
  • Gather kindling for fire starters.
  • Clean off potting table and store all pots.
  • Clean up bird feeders and fill for winter.
  • Stock up on bird seed for winter.
  • Transplant white orchid iris, oriental iris and peonies.
  • Prune and tie up raspberries.
  • Move all coneflowers to same spot or two spots in yard.
  • Spread coneflower seeds under kitchen and bathroom windows.
  • Move hibiscus to outside of fence.
  • Transplant small hibiscus to front fence on both sides of front gate.
  • Rebuild west flower garden, making smaller and fill with shade plants.
  • Take down soft swing under maple tree.
  • Plant hibiscus at pond.
  • Clean off and mulch new asparagus patch.
  • Divide rhubarb and move some to another tire planter.
  • Buy zinc and fertilizer for pecan trees & spread.  Mulch
  • Fertilize and mulch English Walnut trees.

It doesn’t seem like much but it usually takes me a couple months to get it all done but I do get it done.  I select a chore by length of time to get it done and priority of getting it done.  Do you use lists like this?

My daughters house

About four years ago our daughter decided to build a house on the farm and it’s coming along but not fast enough to suit her and us.  It’s going to be a beautiful home and we can’t wait until it’s completed.

May 2009

She decided to pay as you go instead of having a mortgage for the rest of their lives.  She is lucky in the fact that her husband is a mason and has done the ground work of the house and  she paid his workers for their part of the construction.  The best part of doing things this way seems to be making sure each step of the build is done correctly.  Her biggest headache has been listening to the many “advice givers”, deciding what step is next and trying to find contractors that really take PRIDE in their work.  In this day and time when jobs and housing are at their lowest,  you would think that contractors would do their best work and hope to get referrals from those they work for.  My daughter has met the cream of the crop when it comes to “men dealing with a woman”  and most of them trying to get away with a fast job and a quick buck.  What they didn’t know and found out quick is that this “woman” knows the right people in so many contractor works of life and isn’t afraid to challenge anyone when it comes to working for HER money.  She is not afraid to speak her mind and when something doesn’t look right she’s quick to find out why.  I admire her tenacity  and strong will to fight for what is right especially when it comes to a field she’s not totally familiar with.  She is not afraid to research the correct way to do things and she’s not afraid to fight for what is right.  She expects to get the same quality of work as she would give in her job.  She is deeply versed in the old saying “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right”.    Anyway, I digress yet again, the house is coming along and it will be wonderful having her and her family within walking distance of our house and yet far enough away that she’ll have the privacy she enjoys and respects.  By the time the house is completed she’ll be able to write a book on the do’s and don’ts of building your home.

March 2010

August 2011

May 2012

She has dealt with bad roofers, guttering professionals that weren’t professional, contractors that don’t know what soffits are and men that  don’t know what winds we have in our area and reasoning of why she wants things done in a certain way (especially if they think she is wrong).

Anyway, the next stop is the porches and garage floor poured and the garage door put in.  This will seal up the house to keep the birds and varmints out.  She has a long way to go but hopefully before that granddaughter of mine finishes high school (this is her first year in high school) they’ll be in their “new” home .

My daughter has a lot more men to deal with in the next few years when it comes to this house but I think she has decided that she is going to look at their previous work before taking any more bids and before she let’s them have anymore to do with the construction.  Her husband’s grandfather was  a master builder/contractor and I think it might be a good idea to have him take a look at what’s been done and give her a list of what SHOULD come next and maybe even have him supervise the construction from now on.  He’s a wonderful man!!

I think the values of workers has changed a lot since I was growing up and raising our family.  So many people, old and young alike, feel that the world owes them something and the value of hard work is, in most part, a thing of the past.  Our world is changing and not for the better.  I know that God will work his miracles and help her through this part of her life.  HE never gives us more than we can handle!!

End of Summer clues

You know that summer is coming to an end when the kids start back to school but the real clues are when the garden is being cleaned off for the fall crops, the woodshed is full and the cellar shelves are stocked. I was riding home yesterday and saw a hint of gold and orange in the tops of maple trees on our road. Last night we saw a herd of deer near the house and three of the larger bucks had lost the velvet from their horns. The apples are starting to drop and the wildlife is scarfing it up almost before it hits the ground. The hummingbird population has dropped from 30 to 10 or 12. The chickens molt has come to an end and the new feathers are shining. The cats and dogs on the farm have almost quit shedding. The katydids are screaming way before dark and the evening porch sitting is so much cooler. Best of all, the screech owls are calling!! Fall is near!!