I feel like this whole last month got away from me without much to show for it in the way of completed tasks. However, we did do some really fun things together as a family and created some great memories–like attending a few Halloween parties and fall events, taking the kids to a nearby national park, and getting a new puppy–which is ultimately more important than anything I could cross off a list.
And even though it was just one line item to get all our fall bulbs in the ground, we put in SO MANY HOURS in October working towards that. Most of the credit goes to Matt, who tilled up (sometimes multiple times) all the new in-ground beds, covered them all with a layer of compost/garden soil mix, and then individually drilled each bulb hole using a special auger bit we found. Considering that we planted around 2,500 bulbs, that’s a lot of time!! We basically spent every spare evening and Saturday working on it until we finally covered the last bulb in the ground (technically on the 2nd of this month, but hey, it was our most important task to do and now it’s DONE!).
I will admit that a lot of these things didn’t get done just because I was feeling pretty unmotivated the last week of the month, which is usually when I’ll do a big push to complete as many of my monthly goals as I can (#queenofprocrastination). I think I’m just overall craving a huge break from anything to do with flower farming and other large projects, but since we still aren’t at the point we can do that yet, I’m just pushing myself through on getting the last of the farm prepped for winter and then letting everything else go for awhile.
And that’s okay with me — a lot of the items below will be excellent things to tackle during the winter season anyway.
Here’s what October looked like:
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Finish the majority of the Christmas shopping
- We got quite a lot done — pretty much almost everything for our kids and the gifts for our parents. However, with having to pay for all the fall bulbs that were delivered, we just couldn’t swing the whole thing and stay in budget, so Matt and I will buy our gifts for each other in November. (In case you’re curious, our big gift to the two older kids are a couple of these in light blue and pink, and the big gift for our youngest is this.)
clothes, food + rest of hygiene products in 72-hour kits
- Emergency preparedness definitely took a backseat this month to the flower farm prep that needed to be done. And since we still have quite a bit that we need to do outside before the weather turns too cold, I don’t know that I’ll get to this in November either, although I’ll add it to the list anyway to keep it in my mind.
- Go through 72-hour kit that my mom gave me and update where needed
- I did at least take out the clothes I’d put in when I was about 18 (and which no longer fit :)) and add some that does, but other than that, nothing. Rollover.
- Purchase or find food-grade buckets with lids, buy oxygen packets and mylar bags, and properly store our long-term food items
- While a lot of the long-term food storage we recently bought is already packaged for us in #10 cans (which will help the food inside to last 20-30+ years if unopened), we also bought a lot of other things like rice and oats that aren’t yet properly packaged for long-term storage. In order to do so, we have to get the right kinds of buckets, some oxygen absorbers, and some mylar bags to seal everything in. My mom says she has some extra 5-gallon buckets with lids that we can have, so I’m just waiting to get those from her before I order the absorbers and bags and start sealing up food in them. Rollover goal, although we probably won’t officially tackle this until December or January.
- Do third post in Food Storage 101 series on long-term food storage
- I did do quite a lot of writing on this, but I’m waiting to publish it until we’ve actually utilized all the long-term food storage techniques ourselves, just so I can pass along any tidbits I learn along the way.
Install new car seat
- We bought this car seat early in September but didn’t get it installed until late October, just before we took the kids on a little day trip to Capitol Reef. The car seat gets points for being super easy to install and a fabulous price, but it also is a little awkward of a fit for our youngest, who has now started to get more frustrated every time we go on long drives anywhere because he can’t reach certain things by his feet that he used to be able to. We don’t have plans now to switch it for a different one, but if he continues to put up a fight every time we drive a long distance, we might have to look into it.
- Make trip to the donation center
- I thought we could swing by on our trip down to Capitol Reef, but it turns out that the town that has our nearest donation center isn’t quite on the way to the national park, as I originally thought — we would have had to drive about 20 minutes (each way) out of our way to go, so we decided to just go sometime this next month instead, when we can combine it with a trip to our favorite burger place and the local park.
Get a handle on the mouse problem
- We’ve caught 4 and have seen zero signs of others, so…I think I can cross this off? We’re still super wary though because after we caught the first two, we also thought we were maybe done, but then I saw one more a week or so after. It’s now been a few weeks though since any sighting/trapping, so…maybe. Fingers crossed.
- Take advantage of the fall clean-up dumpsters
- We have taken two loads down, but we haven’t yet cleared out all the stuff we need to from all the construction we did late last year. We’ll need to do at least one or two more loads to get it all out.
Till all in-ground garden beds
- Bless Matt — he’s put in SO much work on the flower farm this last month.
Put layer of compost over all in-ground beds
- Ditto as above.
- Prepare raised beds for overwintering
- I did start this one day and ripped out about half of one and about a quarter of another, but we’re definitely nowhere close to done. Rollover goal.
Plant all fall bulbs
- While we *technically* didn’t finish this until the 2nd, done is done! I cannot tell you what a relief it is to be able to cross this one off the list.
- Wash comforter
- Nope. And because it’s getting so bad, I’m seriously considering budgeting for a new comforter just so we can switch between the two when one of them needs a good washing. (In case you’re wondering why this is taking so long, it’s because our king-size comforter is far too large to fit in our own washing machine, which means I either need to fork over about $35 to have it dry cleaned, or I need to take it to a laundromat that has one of the huge industrial-sized machines. No idea when I’m going to do this, but our comforter really, REALLY needs it. (And I’m thinking that a white comforter was a great idea pre-kids, but now? Maybe not so much.)
Go on a hike as a family
- I’d intended for our hike to be in the canyon just by our house, but we ended up meeting some friends down in Capitol Reef a couple weeks ago instead. Every time we go hiking, I always think of how we need to do it more because I love it so much, but I’m the worst at working it into our plans. Super glad we could make one happen this last month, though!
- Send in request for new car title for Buick
- What do you think?
Even though I know to expect it now, I’m still amazed every year at how fast the time flies from Matt’s and my birthdays (at the end of September) to the end of the year — it’s like every weekend holds some event or gathering or party, and now we also have a kid in full-time school, which brings its own events to attend and plan for. I can only imagine how much crazier things would be if ALL of our kids were in school, and especially if they were involved in extracurricular activities of any kind! Even as it is, I feel like we’re more busy than I’d prefer, although I’ll admit that I like a LOT of margin in my weeks — probably much more than most people.
Luckily we do have a couple free weekends in November (as of now, anyway), which I’m hoping will translate to us finally having the large chunks of time we need to really finish up prepping the flower farm for winter. Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed that the weather holds out just a bit longer!
- Finish Christmas shopping as much as possible
- Ideally I’d like to finish every last thing, but I don’t know how realistic that is. At the very least, I want to get all the bigger things bought by the end of this month.
- Take our new puppy to the vet
- We’ll have to take him next month too to finish off his vaccinations.
- Make new quiet books for church for each kid
- I made a quiet book for Raven to bring to church several years ago, which the other kids now also enjoy looking at. However, there are hardly any pictures of the boys in there and no updated pictures of our family, and I would also like to have a book for each child so that they can each have their own special reverence book. I think I’m going to try and do this as a Christmas gift for the kids, so that will buy me about a month and a half.
- Make trip to donation center
- Rollover goal.
- Take the rest of the loads to the fall clean-up dumpsters
- One or two more loads should do it.
- Add food and rest of hygiene items to 72-hour kits + go through old 72-hour kit
- Rollover goal.
- Move gas fireplace back to family room
- The heating in our house is a bit spotty — it can be super warm in one section of the house and really cold in another. I’d love to move the standing gas fireplace back to where it belongs so that we have it as an option when we’re all hanging out in that room.
- Try to fix leak in master bathroom and/or look into getting a quote from a plumber
- We’re super lucky in that during our 4+ years of home ownership, we’ve mostly only spent money on “fun” house things like new paint and stuff for the yard. However, the shower in our master bathroom has started leaking really terribly over the past couple weeks, so we need to get it looked at ASAP before our water bill starts going through the roof.
- Finish editing all photo shoots
- I’m no longer taking on clients for my photography business, but we did a photo swap ages ago with friends and I’ve also taken some pictures for my brother and sister-in-law (who just had their first baby), so I want to make sure to get those photos all edited and squared away ASAP, especially as it’s already been awhile since I actually took some of the pictures.
- Finish ripping out raised beds and cover with compost
- While we don’t technically *have* to do this before winter, I know that spring Torrie will be much obliged if I can knock this out now since spring was truly insane as a flower farmer. I’ve already started this process, but I still have work to do on the majority of the raised beds before they’re truly ready for planting next year.
- Mow lawn
- With the insanity that came with August’s and September’s harvesting and October’s bulb planting, Matt literally did not have a spare second to spend on mowing the lawn, which means it’s been a few months. Time to finally knock this one out before we get snow.
- Rake up leaves and use for compost
- There are a few places that could use an extra thick layer of mulch/compost to be prepared for next season, so I want to do this before the snow covers it all.
- Pick up 5-gallon buckets for food storage
- Rollover goal.
- Transfer water shares over to our name
- When we bought our home, all water shares owned by the previous residents should have been transferred over to our name, but we just discovered this last month that they weren’t. Time to remedy that, since we can use all the irrigation water we can get for the farm.
- Send in request for new title for Buick
Since I technically only have about 3 weeks left in the month, I’d best get going!! What are your plans for this month?