The Christmas Cactus

I love Christmas cacti, even though they should really be named Thanksgiving cacti since mine always bloom the last week of November. All year long, the weird tapeworm-ish looking plant takes a backseat, visually speaking.

Suddenly, without warning, the entire plant erupts into the brightest and most psychedelic hues of the rainbow. The colors are so bright that they almost hurt your eyes to look at them.

I used to have a huge Christmas cactus and it was glorious. When my oldest was about three, it mysteriously flew off of its shelf and landed upside down, shattering off most of the leaves and all but about two of the blooms. It was a sad day in Plant Land.

This plant was one that I think I grabbed at Lowe’s one year because fuchsia is my favorite color EVER. I stuck it in an old coffee cup and honestly I have no clue how long I have even owned it. I’m happy that this year I managed to not kill it and so I will share it with you!

Happy Wednesday!


The Frugal Farmhouse #1

My recent post, Ch-ch-ch-changes, brought me more texts and comments than I have ever received from a single blog post! First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH for hanging out with me on my blog/farm journal/soapbox. I am honored that you guys devote some of your very precious time to read my words! Now, one of the questions I was asked was: “So what methods have you been using to try and stay sane?”. Okay, that was totally paraphrased, but I have been working out an answer for you all in my little pea brain. I want to give you the best answer without going into an annoying amount of detail. I will also list resources to help you! Initially, I was going to put all of these into a single post, but I think it’s just too much, so let’s keep it simple and start with one goal.

Get rid of the clutter in your life.

This could mean physical clutter, mental clutter, or a combination of both. I don’t know about you, but I felt like a slave to my clutter. Whether it was my inability to say ‘no’ (which turned into mental clutter for me) or dusty knick-knacks/papers everywhere/craft supplies out the wazoo, it made my brain tired. Very…very…very tired. I can’t do visual clutter. I need clear surfaces to function. I need to wake up to a clean sink in the morning. I can’t think when there are too many things around me.  Let’s face it: Clutter is depressing.

Clutter was a constant physical reminder that I had too much going on. I read somewhere that it takes about 21 days for you to walk by something enough to where your brain ignores it. Then one day, when you finally activate your decluttering mode, you ask yourself: “How long has that pile of (enter a noun here) been sitting on the table/floor/dresser/etc.?” Suddenly, you become really annoyed with yourself because you have been so busy that your brain has been on auto-pilot for months or years and things like this happen when you are on auto-pilot mode.

So, here are some resources I have used myself that I’ve enjoyed and found to be useful. Just remember that decluttering and organizing takes time. You aren’t going to miraculously have everything organized overnight and it may take months. I know that personally, I went through several weeks of deep cleaning/purging and even months later I am refining this. One day at a time! You will get there!

Help for the clutter:

  • Kick the clutter habit one tiny step at a time with FlyLady! I love the routines for my day! I am not typically a routine person (like, at all), but now I have a morning and evening routine and I feel out of sorts if I break them. There are also housecleaning routines that you can easily adjust to your own needs. I only clean twice a week for about an hour at a time now. That’s all! Note: The full email campaign is, IMHO, just too much. Sorry, FlyLady. Be sure to update your email subscription to “FlyLady Lite” rather than the full campaign unless you enjoy email overload! Also, she offers cleaning supplies. Her Bronze microfiber rags are the absolute bomb. I prefer them to my Norwex and e-Cloth rags! They are GREAT. I’ll elaborate later on.
  • The book: “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. I enjoyed this book. Okay, so I don’t fold my undies like I used to (shame, shame), but I do like the idea of getting rid of those things which give you no joy. I started my decluttering with this in mind and I was able to whip through most of my house pretty quickly.
  • The site: Organize365. This is a very popular site and offers podcasts as well as tons of info on how to become organized in your home.


I wanted to show you a couple of FlyLady ideas that I use regularly. This is my daily “Flight Plan”, as it is called. I won’t go into major details yet, but you can see that you do declutter for at least 15 minutes every single day. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I promise you that even 15 minutes is a start! Not listed here is something called “Zone cleaning”, which I do every Tuesday. It is a deeper cleaning routine for one “zone” in your house.


With FlyLady, you don’t say you are doing housecleaning! You are “blessing your home” by taking care of it, so we call it “Home Blessing Hour” when you clean. I do this twice a week: Mondays and Fridays. I like our house to be clean before the weekend and then I like a clean house to start the week, too. Just so you know, dusting, mopping, polishing are all limited to 15 minutes…no more. I use a cheap timer from Wal-Mart and I keep it in my apron pocket. FlyLady actually recommends 10 minutes for each task, but I get a more complete job done if I give myself 15 minutes. Typically, I have it all done in about 12 minutes per each job. The idea is to limit your time so that you don’t become obsessed with a perfect cleaning job. As she says, it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. Perfection is what prevents us from starting a job…we think if we can’t do it perfectly, we just won’t do it at all. I know this has been a problem for me in the past.



So what do you think? Where are you on clutter in your life? Are you organized or are you ready to set up a burn barrel in your front yard and throw in the contents of your home? I threatened to use a bulldozer and a burn pile more than once. I’ve come a long way, baby!