Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Pioneer Project progress update #1

It's been awhile since I reported my pioneer project progress. So let's do that today.

Three or so months into the project and pretty much I can say this: I haven't done much. I do notice a difference in my determination and some internal traits but as far as accomplishing things, there's not much tangible proof, save for making butter, a mending basket, and using my crockpot (which is like my version of a pioneer stove).

Let's break it down.

Gardening

This is my husband's area. He busts his ass weekly, maintaining the garden. He's constantly thinking about how to improve it and maximize the results by weeding and rotating the plants and getting rid of the ones that aren't growing so the good ones have more space (we even have some volunteers from the previous owners but that just makes me think of The Hunger Games so I call those our Katniss plants). He even used grass clippings for mulch, which is both frugal and environmentally friendly. So pioneer win on that one. The plants we started indoors are kicking ass and now it's just a matter of watering and pruning and waiting for things to grow. Then I can start working on some pioneer food things like canning.

This our insane cat hanging out in the garden. Because why not.

Sewing/crocheting

One word–nothing. I have done nothing to improve my sewing. I even set a goal this month to sew a pillowcase and thankfully the month isn't over yet so I can get working on this. If I can get some pillowcases, napkins, and curtains done by summer's end, we'll call that a victory. And as far as crocheting, I am trying so, so hard on this one. I practice, watch YouTube tutorials, and it's just not getting better. I think I might just need to accept the fact that maybe I am not meant to do it. But not yet. I'm not giving up yet.

Homemaking stuff

In the early days if this project, I set a weekly schedule a la Ma Ingalls. I haven't been perfect with it but I'm definitely keeping to a stricter schedule than I had prior to the project, and I am getting more done. There have even been a couple of times I washed, dried, folded, and put away laundry all in the same day. Baby steps, friends. Baby steps. I have been getting better about having a weekly food prep and baking day, running errands on one day, and staying home more. That last part isn't a problem because home > public.

I still have a few home decorating projects I need to start/work on/finish but some of those involve going to a craft store and those places intimidate the shit out of me. I also don't have a tablecloth which is really more a reflection of my laziness than an inability to do things because how hard is it to order from Amazon? I want a tablecloth for various reasons but the pioneer reason is I love that Ma used hers to differentiate between an all purpose table and the dinner table. That's a fun, practical idea.

Miscellaneous

This past weekend we went to a strawberry festival. That's pioneer like, right? We're also trying to do a better job of heating/cooling the house with windows, fans, blankets, layers, curtains, and other non-electric sources. (Except the ceiling fans. Wow, do those make a big difference.) Composting is still in full effect yet I have still not bought supplies to make candles, soap, or beer.

If I had to grade our efforts thus far, I'd give us somewhere between needs improvement and satisfactory. I suppose it's better than we haven't done shit but as far as proving to myself that I could survive life as a pioneer, I'm not making good progress at all. On the bright side, at least I know how to fix it.

I should probably do that.

 

21 Comments

  1. Kristin @ Payment Free Life

    I don’t get crochet either. I’ve tried a number of times. I can knit some amazing things, like socks, but could never really get crochet.

    I was planning to get the garden planted this weekend but it was our anniversary so that didn’t happen. Maybe I’ll go out Wednesday and get the plants we need. Not great at starting plants but can do well with plants I buy. My seedlings always end up really lanky and I don’t know how to get them to grow fuller.
    Kristin @ Payment Free Life recently posted…They aren’t a surprise: budget for special eventsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Most of our seedling are pathetic so we’re supplementing with some plants.

      I cannot knit. At all. My mother actually took knitting needles away from me. That was last year.

      Reply
  2. Nadine

    I love that you are even trying at any of this! I was so determined to start a mini garden this year, never did. My mom taught me how to crochet in college and I made a half a blanket and gave up. She finished it for me and made me two scarves. Annnnnnd we turn our AC down to 68 at night. Oops.

    But reading this makes me want to do better! I could certainly get into my own beer making! That would be pretty cool. Also, I would love to learn how to sew. Maybe one day…
    Nadine recently posted…Weekend ShenanigansMy Profile

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    1. Jana (Post author)

      It took me a long time to decide that I wanted to do all of this. I am looking forward to making beer, though. That will be fun.

      We did have one or two nights where the AC had to get turned on. Our room was so hot it was impossible to sleep, even with fans.

      Reply
  3. Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout

    Ceiling fans for-evah!!! I know fancy decorator types look down their noses at them, but I live with 3 boys and I need some air circulation or things get FUNKY fast.
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted…A girly reading monthMy Profile

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    1. Jana (Post author)

      OMG, I don’t have any boys except my dogs so I can only imagine the funk. My home will never be in a magazine so I’m sticking with my ceiling fans. Because lower bills are better than a photo shoot any day.

      Reply
  4. Scarlett

    You’re making improvements that is what matters – this winter even if it’s small. Easy tablecloth = cloth – measure your table, go to Walmart fabric dept (or other fabric store), pick out cloth you like and have it cut. 1 yard tends to fit my table, but you def. want to measure. I learned how to crochet this winter and love it. But I’m a crafty gal. I like the “stitch a day” guy. He’s really easy to understand.
    Scarlett recently posted…What’s Cooking? Cheesy Pepper Quinoa BitesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I’ll have to check him out. Is he on YouTube?

      For the tablecloth, do you have to taper the ends? I can probably do that with hemming tape or even hot glue.

      Reply
      1. Scarlett

        Yes, he’s on youtube. I’ve learned most of my crochet from youtube. πŸ™‚ The “all free crochet” lady on youtube is good too, but her nails sometimes get in the way.
        For the tablecloth, you can leave the biased edge and just do a simple finish of the other 3 sides. My mom always straight stitched them on the sewing machine for me ;), but she is also famous for using “magic” tape which I assume is hemming tape…
        Scarlett recently posted…What’s Cooking? Cheesy Pepper Quinoa BitesMy Profile

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  5. Jenniemarie @ Another Housewife

    My husband has a handful of blankets his grandma crocheted (is that a word) for him when he was a baby. The kids really love using them because they know they belonged to their dad. I would love to be able to do something like that for them but I’m thinking of sewing a T-shirt quilt for each of them.

    I think this Summer we are going to start a small indoor herb garden and then hopefully go from there.
    Jenniemarie @ Another Housewife recently posted…Potluck Pig CakeMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Crocheted is a word πŸ™‚

      I need to plant our herb garden and a t-shirt quilt is on my quilting wish list. I have dozens of sorority t-shirts I need to do something with.

      Reply
  6. Amanda

    Bahahahha… “ma Ingalls” πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I’d like to call her “Ma” but that might be confusing. I can’t stand her mostly, but she does have some good ideas.

      Reply
  7. Kerry

    I couldn’t do without A/C or fans either. I think you are making progress, maybe not as fast as you would like but you are doing it. That is something!
    Kerry recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      That’s true. I’d love for it to go faster but being a pioneer is slow and takes a lot of patience, which I don’t necessarily have. I should probably write a post about it…

      Reply
  8. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    Washing, drying, folding and putting away all the laundry in ONE day is a major feat.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…TWTW – This weekend I…My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I *might* have done a little dance and made sure everyone knew what I did. Because it NEVER happens.

      Reply
  9. kathy@vodka and soda

    i’m awful with plants or anything remotely related to plant life. my husband takes care of that shizz too otherwise we’d have a house full of dead plants. don’t even talk to me about a garden LOL

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda
    kathy@vodka and soda recently posted…bucket list thingsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      My husband talks to me about the garden as if I care. I am glad he’s there to help, though, or it would be plant hospice in here.

      Reply
  10. Kelli

    We’ve been living with the windows open for the last week and I can just hear the money stacking up that I won’t have to pay the power company. I wish the humidity would stay away, it’s the only reason we need AC in my opinion.
    Kelli recently posted…My 17 ChannelsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Humidity is the worst. It makes everything so uncomfortable and sticky.

      Reply

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