Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Big Picture: Yearly Planning

One of my major planning tools is the Current Year Calendar.  I have the DIYFish 1-Year Planner 2014 

The year isn't over yet, but I love adhering different photos as I print them.  I like looking at them and reliving the memories.   

This is Page 1

This year layout is for my Fauxdori -- or "Farmdori," as I like to call it.  It's the personal size, and I'm using a personal size -Dori (actually 4 x 7"), so I print it out and cut just enough off the top and bottom to measure 
7 inches.  Then I follow the fold marks and tape a narrow strip of paper to slide through the front of my stitch-bound DIYFish v.02.2 monthly inserts.  (DO2Pages).  In my last post, I describe why I can't use the MTN (Midori) regular inserts.  Basically because my -dori is smaller, personal size, which is not standard, and scaling the MTN pages down led to problems.

Fish's Yearly Calendar/Planner comes with 4 pages, printed on 2 sheets of paper you will print back to back.  

Page  2 printed on the flip side of the first page 

I homeschooled my grandson for part of the year, second semester, and I used my yearly calendar to keep track of school weeks as well as attendance and what we were working on, notes to myself, etc.  This was 10th grade and there was a lot to cover.  When I homeschooled my youngest special-needs son (don't we all have special needs?) from 7th to 10th grades, I had used a yearly calendar similar to this one of  Fish's. Both times I've planned 9 weeks on and 1 week off, except for Christmas holidays when we usually took 2 weeks.  

I must have a fold-out version for my yearly calendar/planner!

Another thing I did, which I loved, was going according to the Academic Calendar instead of the regular school schedule.  July 1st stated our year, and we ended on June 30th.  This gave us a lot of planning time for trips, outings, sick days (for Mom usually) and anything else we just wanted to do.  

My grandson helped on the farm, taking care of animals, building a chicken house, driving the tractor, planting and harvesting, waching special scienctific TV programs, and gazing through a telescope at the night skies.  All of wich the student can receive credit for.  

...called "Real" Edudation

I also keep a 3-ring binder for assisgnments turned in, most of which are printouts from my grandson's laptop, but some actualy filled-out book tests, as well as anytthing else I wanted to keep.  A folder in my files holds grades, attendance, his credit worksheet, and transcript.

Page 3 is identical to page 2, except it's the last 6 months of the year. I refer to those two pages as "trackers," for obvious reasons.  I didn't print this one out because I am not currently homeschooling.

Then page 4, below, is the block monthly view of all 12 months, where there is room to list dates, birthdays, anything you want.  I only keep a month in my -dori at one time, so this yearly view by month is where I future plan.  In my FF I keep 3 months of pages, so I still use this yearly setup.

In addition, I go back and fill in some dates or notations as they happen.  For instance my husband Gary had 2 serious illnesses all in the space of a month, and I wanted to document these so I have easy access to the dates, what doctors we saw, any important notations.  These types things, illnesses, are on my daily pages, but it's a lot easier to go to my yearly calendar.

When doctors make yearly appointments, which ours like to do, I can write them in then and there with the appointment secretary.  

Since we live by dates of firsts and lasts here on the farm, this yearly view is a must.  Predicted first and last frost dates, when seeds were started in the greenhouse, when to order new seeds.  What date we bought new chickens.  Future occurrences including birthdays mingle in between The Farm dates.  

You will note I don't include cleaning schedules here because I have my handy-dandy DonnaYoung Household Planner, which is so easy for me to use over anything else.  It would be redundant to list those chores somewhere else.

This is just gold as far as planners and calendars go, as far I'm concerned.  Four pages for your entire year.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

My August Planner Setup. Running the Farmhouse and Time to Play

Meet my "Personal" Size Farmdori, custom-made by my husband- (who takes custom orders) He is currently making all of the normal sized Traveler's Notebooks, but the regular size is too big for my liking.  I want more compact.  But, since not many people make personal sized Dori's and the inserts for them, I've had to do a lot of paper engineering..

I am in love...but how did this happen to a Filofax Farm Girl?

Post OneBookJuly... the July Challenge absolutely gave most of us an eye-opener to what we needed and loved in our planners.  I'm a dyed-in-the-wool one book at a time planner addict.  I need everything in the  book I keep wiith me wherever I go.  

That's not to say, of course, that I don't have many interests.  I do.  The framework for all of my interests is in my one planner.  My writing, for instance, is online.  I write, I print it out, I edit, I change the online copy, etc...

I might glue a picture out of a magazine of a scrumptious looking dish, but the actual recipe is in my kitchen notebook.  

I'm still trying to sell on EBay 15 years worth of scrapbooking products that I will never use -- I totally changed how I scrapbook several years ago, and it doesn't require all this stuff crammed into my craft closet. Finally it's about the photos.  So EBay is a Project.  I note in my planner relevant information I might want to keep on hand..  

I've sold a few of my Filofaxes, and it helps to have a ready flip of the pages to jot down going prices and such as that.

So I discovered during July that I wanted to give myself a month in a Midori type planner and just see if it worked for me.  And that's how I fell in love.  

So Here's What I Got, now that half of August is over!  Are we not perfectionists?

The inside with 2 little Girl of All Work (I think that's who makes them) corner pockets.  The first few pages of my notebook, which is my Common Place  Book, are left blank for some sort of index, if I find I want one.

Books I'm reading and want to read.  Notes of interest about what I read.

This is one of those pages with a magazine clip that is a reminder for me..

Blog planner, copied from Patty Gardner at Homemakers Daily.  She has a great blog.

Just slid in some graph paper, because I like writing on it, and listed all of my blog ideas, notes, dates to post, etc.  Also have a section on writing ideas and notes.

I like my Hubs' little note to me on the left page.  He's a good guy.  I'm lucky.

My "Church" page.  Notes, prayer requests, etc.
Got to have my important phone numbers in case my phone up and dies on me.  It's happened.

This is my Calendar, where it all happens...

DIYF 2014 Yearly Calendar.  I need this to stay on top of everything.  I homeschooled my grandson for a bit until he went back to regular class and this proved to be the best tool I used.  

Planting dates on the farm.  Birthdays.  And of course future dates because I only have the current month in the book.  The yearly calendar is a jewel!

Then some graph paper where I previously made a sort of Bullet Journal (in pencil).  I slid this in front of the bound  monthly calendar to refer to when I plan a new month, and to jog my memory.  You could call it a Brain Dump, because it's kind of like that. .

Also in the front is my Donna Young Household Planner.  Whoever created this--I guess Donna Young--she thinks just like me, because I didn't have to change much.  It even reminds me to clean my coffeemaker.  The Household Planner is in Word.  You can do whatever you want to it.  So concise and simple.  

And, yes, I've done FlyLady, about 10 years ago, and loved it.  My kitchen sink is still shining!  I guess I've just graduated.  I even remember the zones!

My DIYFish inserts in my FarmDori are actually the LMI.v02.2 Personal pages, but of course I don't cut them the normal way nor punch holes.  The paper that doesn't get cut off now acts as an slide-through anchor, making a booklet.  To a few of the pages I had to tape an additional piece of paper to hold the inserts in place on the other side.  If that makes any sense.

First I bought the MTN regular size inserts, but I had to scale them down for personal size.  Which would have been hunky-dory, but the flip sides don't line up when you scale up or down.  I ended up with a way fat bunch of one-sided pages. 

A greuling few days later, and some dead trees, I got what I wanted.  

Like Tracy Reinhardt, a fellow Facebook DIYFish community member I like a lot, I wanted the ring-binder version week that folds over, where you can see your day right alongside your week schedule.  Just a little more paper engineering did the trick.  Think invisible tape.

The above photo demonstrates what I mean by week schedule alongside day page.  

And I am using Day on 2 Pages!  Another thing I like and want to keep.  And you will note I'm using different daily pages, the Amazing Life inserts by the talented creator DIYFish.  I do have the Day on 2 Pages that go with v02.2 inserts, but they are to be printed on personal-size paper.  That was fine when I was using my Filofax, but I just didn't have it in me at this point (I'm canning tomatoes, remember, and any other veggie that will grow) to figure out how to print two pages on letter sized paper.  So I went to my hard drive and pulled up these beauties.  I'm enjoying them a lot every day.

And here you will see my nice pamphlet stitch made with a big needle and some strong cotton thread.  Holds it nice and straight and pretty.

I also spent a few days working on a pocket folder after I watched Pocket Full of Vintage's YouTube video.  After making a successful manilla folder version, I tried making a smaller one with scrapbook paper (not card stock) for less bulk.

Instead of 6 pockets, I have 5 because of the smaller paper.  I'm really pleased with it.

Then I have a plastic card holder and zipper pouch which lives inside my paper folder creation.

That's it.  Any comments or questions, let me know.   And, oh, yes, the having fun part, it's been a blast this past few weeks playing with my planner, in between actually doing my tasks.  

Hmmmm, what will I do for September...maybe, hopefully, stay with my FarmDori.

...or, just maybe, I will try the passport size.  As long as I can have everything in one book.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Filofax on the Farm: OneBookJuly2014

#OneBookJuly2014...is almost over!   

It's been an eye-opener for me.  Just One Small Book and One Pen for the month of July.  Going in I thought it would be so easy because I use only one book always.  I have a small collection of books in different sizes, but I only work out of one at a time, and it goes everywhere with me and serves as my wallet.

I was comfortable in my main Filofax, the Personal Chocolate Aston up to this time.  Also I'd just gotten a Personal Purple Malden to see if it was better because, of course, with all the raves over that one binder I figured I'd always wonder.  But after a month in the Malden I had to go back to my Aston.  I am forever an Aston groupie.

 However, in June, I switched to my little Brown Pocket Kensington just for a change from the ordinary, so I was ready for a OneBookJuly.  It was the only book I was using.  Aston was getting a shelf vacation.  And the Kensington is a really sweet little binder.

Since November 2013, I'd been using DIYFish LifeMapping inserts in my Aston, so I bought and printed out the pocket version and suited Kensington up real nice and functional.  I was thrilled with how my little book turned out.  I was ready for the challenge.


There's always a but, isn't there?  

Other OneBookJuly challengers started posting and YouTubing their little Moleskines and Midori's and Fauxdories, and I had to check out that option.

Enter little Pink Moleskine.

I printed another set of  DIYFish July inserts but of course didn't punch holes.  It was easy to fold the pages and slip them into my little notebook, and I loved putting the whole thing together.  


Of course, I became envious of the 'Dories.  I'd decided early on when the Midori wave came on the planner scene that I didn't know what I'd use one for.  After all, Aston and I were doing just fine.  I still wasn't sure what I'd do with a Midori but I needed to know.  

Just like I had to test the Malden to convince myself I wasn't missing out on something.  

Not wanting to spend money on another leather product that would just get a space on my shelves, I cut down a black faux-leather DayTimer agenda cover I'd had for years and knew I'd never use.  The cool thing was that it had the pockets on the ends where the notebook's covers slid.  When I turned the cover upside down, the pockets were on the bottom on both sides.  Perfect.

My FauxDori turned out to be 4" x 7" instead of the A5 size, but just about perfect size for my DIYFish personal inserts, which I printed and slid between a homemade cardstock notebook.

This is how I'm ending my OneBookJuly2014, in what I call my "Farm-Dori," since I do more planning and organizing for the farm than anything else.  Seed ordering and starting, planting times, food harvesting and storing, canning and freezing, as well as animals, etc., etc.

Hubs, Gary, was testing his calligraphy pen on the back of an envelope, which I confiscated for
my Farmdori.  

Oh, my one pen was, first, an American Craft Purple, which broke.  I switched to my favorite Bic 4-Color--purple, green, aqua, and pink.  I love everything about it.

So now I know how I would use a -Dori, and Hubs went to Tandy Leather Company and bought a very lovely cream colored roll to make some real Farmdories.  


every day I take my Aston off the shelf and flip through its pages.  It is after all my Forever Filofax.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tasks as Appointments

I love lists.  To-do lists, shopping lists, cleaning lists... I just don't like doing the things on my lists.  However, the lists look nice on my planner pages.

Back in my Franklin Covey days, as a busy court reporter, I remember taking my to-do tasks and scheduling them in time slots on my daily calendar.  Covey's task priority numbers and the "4 quadrants" didn't work for me.  Everything I tried was really just more work and time that I couldn't spare.

The coolest thing about writing my tasks in with my appointments back then was that I naturally accomplished them throughout the day...because they were on my calendar.

Fast forward to now.  A busy farm lady, growing much of my own food and filling my pantry and freezers, running this crazy household with lots of animals and muddy boots, grandkid weekends and homeschooling one through the week, researching family history, and writing and blogging.  And knitting, if I find a few quiet moments.

And I have to say at this point that I have ADD and I am a very visible learner, and seeing things I need to do on my daily calendar makes a whole lot more sense to me.

Tasks that I don't want in a time slot go on that list somewhere on the page so I can notice them and, if I have a notion, do them.  If not, they move to the next day and might go in a time slot there.

The thing is, I have a harder time ignoring anything on my calendar than on a list. 

My DIYfish daily pages are perfect for my system; they are probably perfect for most visual people. They are also good for creative people who like to tweak things to their liking, and this is the real beauty of the system.

I think I'll stick with this Tasks as Appointments for a while and see if it works as good as it has the last few days.  I feel a lot more successful at the end of the day!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Thrill of the Plan

I've been absent.  I lose my focus quite often.  Mix in ADD and OCD, and I'm lucky to have found my way back here..

Honestly, I've been doing better here lately and being quite productive, all with the help of my Planner Addiction.

My Filofax Personal Windsor, a wonderful vintage 
species I found on eBay a few months ago.  I changed
my favorite color to deep red when I got this binder.

Then, not too long after Windsor, I spied a planner on Filofax USA that seemed to be calling my name.  She looked so soft and lush that I had to see more of her, so I started googling the web for more photos and reviews.  There wasn't a lot, but what I saw convinced me that I had to have this binder.  I waited patiently until she showed up on eBay at a deal not to be refused, all the way from the U.K.  

Her name is Aston.  She is capable of  being stuffed.   The best  
description of my Aston was on Philofaxy.  Seems Aston is an
almost overlooked prize.  

About the same time as Aston's arrival, I switched my inserts to a Life Mapping system from DIYfish, and I moved into planner heaven.  I guess someone like me, whose organizing mania goes all the way back to age 10, does best with something so adaptable to customizing.  There doesn't seem to be an end to what you can make this printable planning system do.  

I delegated my Red Windsor as my writing planner and Aston for everything else, including my wallet.  If I want to go smaller, I have a Pocket Filofax as well.  A rugged but lovable binder that can only be a "he."  

His name is Kensington, and he does look somewhat like
Aston.  Kensington is also a vintage find on eBay for a bargain.
He sits on a bookshelf with a few alien Daytimers 
and Franklin Planners, ready for action when the time
is right.  

I'm not currently looking for a new planner just now, but you never know when your heart will be lost to a new planner on the block.  I suppose that's the thrill of it all, and I don't think the thrill is ever gone.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Zucchini Lasagna, Pickles, and Bug Spray

Welcome to my Kitchen Domain, summer version.  I practically live in this room during this time of the year when my kitchen garden's got it going on.  Like most other gardeners right now, I'm up to here with zucchini.  And I'm loving it.

I save an incredible amount of money on groceries during the summer because we're eating mostly fresh from the garden.  Very little meat or poultry.

Today I made my own version of Zucchini Lasagna using my own tomatoes and store-bought crushed tomatoes, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and all fresh herbs.  When the mother load of tomatoes arrive, I won't be needing the canned crushed.  I'll be crushing them myself.

Zucchini Lasagna

Enough zucchini, sliced as thinly as possible lengthwise, to make two layers in a 13-inch pan
As many fresh red, very ripe, tomatoes as you have, sliced thinly
One large can of crushed tomatoes from the grocer
One thinly sliced onion 
One bell pepper sliced thinly
One small-sized carton of ricotta cheese
One egg
About 2 cups of Mozzarella cheese
About a tablespoon of fresh basil, thyme, and Rosemary (about 1/2 teaspoon for dried herbs)

Beat the ricotta and the egg together until smooth.  Spoon a small amount of crushed tomatoes across the bottom of your pan.  Layer half your zucchini slices over that.  Top with half your sliced tomatoes, onions, and peppers.  Ladle half the remaining crushed tomatoes over the vegetables.  Sprinkle over that half the herbs.  Spread half the ricotta and egg mixture over the herbs.  Ladle and sprinkle half the mozzarella over that.  

For the second layer, place the rest of the zucchini slices over first layer, top with remaining sliced tomatoes, ricotta, herbs, and half of remaining mozzarella.  Top with remaining crushed tomatoes, and sprinkle rest of mozzarella over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, testing that the zucchinis are fork tender.  


Son Jeff loves pickles, so I'm letting some salted zucchini slices stand in the frig, which will become "Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Pickles" later tonight or tomorrow morning.  Found this recipe on Pinterest, pinned by My Pantry Shelf.  I'm looking forward to having these on my pantry shelf.


Also working on my own natural insect repellent using my fresh herbs.  Decided today, after being almost eaten alive by the mosquitoes in a Nashville park over the weekend, to make this and see how it works.  Those heavy chemical sprays make me sick and give me migraines.  Plus I don't think our lungs should be inhaling those fumes.  

Basically I boiled a cup of water on the stove and then added about a tablespoon each of spearmint, lavender, Rosemary, and thyme.  This mixture is sitting, covered, on the counter.  When it's cooled completely, I'll remove the herbs, add about a cup of alcohol (Witch Hazel is probably better, but I don't have any).  Then the mixture goes into a spray bottle.  I read where it's best to keep it in the frig and taken out when needed.  

I'll let you know how it works.  I'm serious bug bait for some reason, my blood type probably.  

Back to my kitchen domain.  Almost supper time.  Oh, we're having homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh peach slices.  Happy eating, ya'll.

Friday, May 24, 2013


 Yes, I'm working on the book.

It doesn't look like it, but I do need some new dishcloths.  And other yarn projects too.  These pretty cloths come from Life After Laundry, Brenna, a frugal mom's site.

While I crochet these cute household products, I'm thinking.  Thinking about the book formatting, and the last chapter which I'm not happy with.  And the cover art and...

Well, I need to knit and crochet while I sort these things out in my head.  I do that best when I have yarn in my hands.  If my fingers aren't on the keyboard, they need to be holding needles or hooks.

This is my messy nightstand.  Sometimes I work on my bed.  When I need quiet and a private place to think.  Sometimes I write in a notebook...several notebooks, instead of the laptop.  

I work on long-term and short-term projects.  If I need to process small stuff in my head, I like to whip up a quick crochet cloth.  If I need to stew for a longer time to figure something out, I grab the Tiramisu blanket I'm crocheting.  I have another one I'm knitting.

I'm especially pleased with the Tiramisu blanket, pattern from Ravelry by Alicia Paulson.  So beautiful and simple, and an awesome process aid.  I've solved several difficult writing problems with the Tiramisu blanket.  Other life problems too.

When you need to process stuff, give yourself the gift of a few pretty and practical dishcloths and maybe for the hard stuff of life, try a Tiramisu blanket.

Women's Memoirs

Women's Memoirs
Women's Memoirs