With end of the year fast approaching, take some time and breath. Now go get a notebook. I use a big three-ring binder. Mine has a plastic sleeve on the front that you can slip a picture into. I am going to find some 2009 calendars and cut out something beautiful for mine. You can probably get filler paper and some pens at the dollar store. You will need some notebook dividers too. Label a divider for every room in the house and then label another for inventory and one for needs.

 I like to start with a clean slate after the holidays. Most people clean well in the fall and spring but I don’t so much. In the spring I am in my garden and in the fall I am preserving food. January works for me. It suits my need to begin anew. I am starting in the kitchen. I will clean every cabinet and drawer. I have learned that having shelf liners seldom work well. I spent a lot of money on those thick rubber liners and found they bunched up and were more trouble than they were worth. It is back to lining with wallpaper. On my to-buy list goes wallpaper from the dollar bins at the hardware store. I am getting rid of all of the plastic in my kitchen so I am putting glass storage jars on my list too. I rarely shop at Wal-Mart but they have made-in-America jars that are just what I need. As I look over the kitchen I can see I have not been using my dried vegetables as quickly as I should. I will make sure to use them twice a week for the rest of the year. The dried fruit is nearly gone. The pears and cherries were big hits. I could use three times as much next year.

The space in my kitchen could be put to better use. I have too many jars on the floor. I need to get the vinegar racked and put away and put the 6 gallon buckets of flour and sugar someplace besides under the windows.

I won’t do anything concrete today. It is Christmas Eve. The children will be up soon and we will bake some more goodies and set the table for our big holiday feast. Church is at 7:00. My son and his two children are coming to spend the night so we can open presents together in the morning. My son is a single dad and has sole custody of his kids. He would have a hard time making a festive holiday on his own and I am glad to be able to do this for him.

As I said, posting may be sporadic for the next week. I want to sleep in and spend time with my kids and begin preparing for my big clean. I send out to all of you my wish for a blessed holiday.