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Saturday, September 1, 2012

How did your August go?

How did August go for you? Did it whizz past? Or were you able to savor long stretches of time?

I can hardly believe that we are here, first day of September. It's back to real life for me. I think of the year as beginning with September and ending with June. July and August are just freebies. It must stem from my educational past. I spent the first half of my life in school, and the second half with kids in school. At both ends, my life revolved around a school calendar. Even when we homeschooled, I still followed a traditional school calendar.

With the new school year, I always rethink how the fabric of my life is looking. Am I being productive enough? Am I allowing periods of leisure? Have I been saying "yes" to so many people that I don't have time for family or self? Do I give myself a day off? Am I making my health a priority? These are the questions that I've been asking myself this past week.

I think I'm getting better about saying "no" from time to time. I really do need to make my health a priority this year. I've not been on top of that for a while. I'm a fairly productive person, but I believe that I can find ways to work smarter and not harder. I'll focus on that.

I've been terrible about giving myself time off. And I often find myself grumbling in my head about how much I'm doing. That's not a good sign. I want to figure a way to give myself one day off per week. It would be nice if it were Sunday. But as a mom and homemaker, well that just doesn't happen. There is always so much to get done for the upcoming school/work week. I'm thinking Friday might be a good day to not schedule appointments, not take on paying or volunteer work, have an easy dinner, and not plan any big projects.

So with the new school year, I'm going to focus more energy on gaining more energy, if that makes any sense. I have some to-do items for the month. And as always I have at least one task that I just do not want to do. I need to de-rust the laundry rack. I did some research last month and know what needs doing on it. I'd rather not, but if I'm to have a clean rack for indoor drying this winter, it's a must do.

There's also a couple of things from last month that went unattended. Never got to pie-making, and still need to do another batch of salsa and some bread and butter pickles. And a big oops, I forgot to call to have our furnace inspected and cleaned. The furnace is nearing the end of its life and so we really can't let it go a season without cleaning and inspection.

The garden gate -- I'm still thinking on it. I've looked at some photos and have a few ideas, but just not sure. I'll give myself a few weeks on that one. This will likely not be a DIY project. I think it's important to know your limits with fix-it projects. So we do what we can and hire out the rest. We have an awesome contractor that we know through church. He's the type of guy that you can feel confident giving your house key to and then leave town. I'm always happy to give him some work.

The other major thing for me to tackle this fall is making the family room cozier. It needs work! With cold weather just around the corner, I'd really like to have a more appealing family room. 

How about you? What will this fall hold in store for you?


  1. Some of my fall projects include getting healthier, working more, and continuing to keep my pantry clean and organized. I think keeping a list of goals is one way to be successful in life. I read a lot about making goals in the personal finance blogosphere.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Happy first day of September! I love beginnings. They feel full of possibilities. Every month it feels like New Year's to me.

      It sounds like you have some good goals for this fall. I do agree, that making goals will help a person identify priorities, and keep on task towards achieving them. I try to not let myself feel too badly when I fall short of a goal. Instead, take a step back and see what progress I did make. Good luck with your goals!

      I'm glad you stopped by!

  2. Do you really worry about being productive enough? If you do half of the things you blog about, you are very productive-more than almost anyone I know.

    But we're all different. Some are happy if they are constantly busy, and others need down time to be energized. We're lucky people when we understand what is best for us and figure out a way to do it.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I wouldn't say I worry about being productive enough. But it's something I'm conscious of. I look at women who work full or half time, and I marvel at all they do and keep track of. I work for pay 1 day a week, and that's just half day. I volunteer several hours per week, but there's a different feel about volunteer work. I consider my efforts to manage our household income to also be a part of my work, at the same level as if I were paid.

      I do have months, usually mid to late winter, when I feel like I've been a slug for weeks on end.

      I am finding that I need more time for self-renewal than I've given myself permission for in the past. I keep asking myself, "just how do I want my life to be?"

      You're right, the lucky ones are those who understand their own needs and work to fulfill them.

      I'm glad you stopped by.

  3. My whole summer whizzed past! I made an effort to scale back on other time commitments and to focus on family and friends over the summer. I think I succeeded!

    I do the same thing you do--not formally, since I'm not a big list-maker--but I periodically reassess my life and make adjustments for balance. Last year, with both kids in school full-time, was a learning curve for me in terms of my daily schedule. I am more aware this year of how many hours working for pay is reasonable for me. My mood is a huge indicator--if I'm cranky and can't shake it after a few days, then I need to cut back somewhere. And if I'm frittering away a lot of time, then I need to pick up the pace with my schedule.

    On a different note--Rustoleum has a product out now which you can spray directly on to the rusty product; it supposedly will "fix" it so you can use spray paint over the top of it. In your research, did you find out anything about that?

    1. Hi Kris,
      In some ways summer seemed to last a very long time. But for me, it never lasts long enough. Things we did at the very beginning of summer seem like ages ago. I guess that's a good sign that we packed in a whole lot of fun.

      What I've read about the Rustoleum product, (and other brands like it) if it's the same thing, is that you still have to sand, brush or steel wool the rust, to remove flakiness. Then you prime with zinc chromate or iron oxide primer. Then paint.

      I know it won't be that big of a deal. But in my difficult little mind, any project that will take longer than 2 hours seems endless! I'll just have to start in on it and get it done. It's a great laundry rack for our needs. It collapses to fit flat against a wall in 30 inches of wall space. And when open only takes up a 30-inch square, just the amount of space I have over the heat vent in the laundry room. I just have to do it.

      But thanks for bringing this up. Chatting about it does make it seem less onerous.

      Hope you're enjoying Labor Day weekend!

  4. August flew by so quickly I barely had time to enjoy it. I've over-extended myself this month and am looking forward to a little down time hopefully after tomorrow.

    While I never look forward to winter, I am looking forward to tackling a few projects I have been putting off because I am too busy. I have sewing to do, and have a couple sweaters to crochet for the little ones, then there is an art piece I want to work on for my one wall. A lot to squeeze into one season, oh and I want time to do more reading than I've had time to do this summer.

    1. Hi Lois,
      I hope you get your down time soon. Maybe you'll be able to really enjoy September and savor the changing of seasons.

      It sounds like you have some nice indoor projects to look forward to. An afternoon of knitting, crochet or sewing just sounds like such a cozy way to spend a few hours. The reading -- now that's what I look forward to most about fall and winter. I checked out a book at the library yesterday, anticipating some time to read this next month.

      Glad you dropped by!

  5. It sounds like we had some of the same goals for August - I made fermented sauerkraut for the first time and want to try some other types of pickles in September. I hope you're going to post on your green tomato pickle relish :)

    I also struggle to give myself time off. Mr Omnivore and I both work full time technically, but because I am a student my hours are much more flexible, so I end up doing all of the cooking and laundry and stuff. Sometimes you just need to stop, eat freezer meals for a couple of days and recover. I hope you manage to do that.

    1. Hi Economies,
      It's my plan to take more time to do things that I enjoy, like reading for fun, or doing crafts that I enjoy, or getting together with friends.

      Yes, I'll definitely post my green tomato pickle relish. I do both a sweet and a dill. It's how I use up all those itty bitty green tomatoes that will never ripen, and it gives us a year's supply of relish!

      So glad you stopped in!


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