A new page is turned upon the calendar and here it is September...Hard to believe that 8 full months of this year have gone by already and a new season nearly upon us, as well.
I shall share quickly all about August and how that month went, though I had no hard and fast plans to accomplish any one thing:
I managed to lay down the bordering blocks I'd bought at the very end of July. I puttered about the yard doing odd jobs, like filling in the crack between patio and foundation wall, picking up branches, weeding, watering plants due to the heat, and moving that pale pink wicker chair to the front porch and out of my bedroom. It's so brittle that it can just fall apart out there and not all over the bedroom carpet.
I did some deeper cleaning tasks in the kitchen: wiping down walls and cabinet fronts and in our bedroom I rearranged my clothes/accessories and cleaned up our closet as well as vacuuming all about the edges of the bedroom and moving furniture to get under it. I'd done a deep vacuum in the living as well one morning and dusted hard in both living and dining and entry way.
I've fought ants, made meals and cleared up behind, baked bread weekly and sometimes twice weekly, shopped for groceries, worked on paying bills, visited with Mama, Bess, Katie and the grandchildren, traveled to pick up Taylor and return her to her daddy twice, had a couple of nice dates with John and read a book or two. I finished one book and started three more to be exact. I've shopped Goodwill for fall wardrobe additions. I ate as many peaches as I could before the season ran out and put a few bags in the freezer for winter cobblers.
All in all, August may have been goal free but it was by no means a vacation month. However, I did not have so much to do in the heat and I felt the month was well paced. In deep cleaning the kitchen I took a couple of weeks to get it all done, rather than try and do it all in one week or one day. I shall definitely approach future Augusts in the same way.
So now for September. I am, of course, beginning to think Autumn and winter at this time of year and what those seasons bring. This year they bring more than usual. Two babies for one thing and a vacation thrown in the midst of autumn and possibly a little earlier than planned retirement. I've committed myself to the Christian Writers group at church once more. There's holidays to plan: Thanksgiving and Christmas. And fall always brings a spate of deeper cleaning though I do not turn out the whole house any longer. Those days are done, but it is necessary to think of quilts and blankets being fresh and time to wash and rehang curtains. Time, too to get plants ready to return indoors or to overwinter.
I know for certain it won't all get done at once but it's my intent to do as much as I can, in little daily 'bites'. And it shall all have to fit into the spaces leftover from all the usual household/family routines.
I need a few bags of mulch to touch up some thinned areas where the mulch I put out in spring settled. Also to complete that bed about the Sweet Gum and Persimmon trees at the end of the house.
I need to trim back the rose bushes a bit as they are attempting to take over the house. I don't like to prune them this time of year. It is ideal to do this task when they are dormant but some years they never go dormant in the South, so I just do them when I see it is needed.
Buy and lay more of the border blocks. At the very least this month I'd like to get enough blocks to finish bordering the two trees at the end of the house.
Start to fill the new flower bed with topsoil if I can. I'll just buy a bag now and then and do it a bit at the time, same as every other job around the house.
Paint the new planter. I need to buy paint. Once painted I mean to set it up in the little bed next to the back steps and then I will plant seeds I have on hand for fall/winter vegetables that don't require deep soil.
Dig out the fall wreaths, freshen up, and hang on the doors.
Every purchase will require thinking of my limited budget and what is priority.
Start taking down curtains and washing them. Ditto for slipcovers.
Wash and/or air out fall/winter bedding. Also wash summer bedding. I usually put fall/winter things away clean so I may be able to get by with just airing most of these items.
Dust/wipe down walls in the main living area, and our bed and bathroom
Introduce some fall décor pieces into the main living area.
Continue to look for shoes. I do not have money for any more wardrobe pieces except shoes. One more pair will really be enough I think.
Start piecing together a few outfits so I have an idea of how things might be layered or accessorized. Try and get up at least one blog post of fall outfits.
Hem one pair of jeans. Check buttons and hems on other pieces of clothing and do any necessary mending. Spot clean purses and polish shoes if needed. Hand wash silk scarves.
Savings has slowed but I am still trying to save something. I have a deposit ready for the new savings account that I ought to have put in last month and a deposit ready to go towards replacing the money we took out to put in the new foundation...Which continues to pay for itself. We had another lower bill for the July-Aug billing cycle. Anyway, I need to get those deposits made this week. I am going to do my best to get deposits together for both accounts again this month and have them in the bank by September 30.
Try to put a bit more aside for vacation. I'm not sure how I can manage this too but I'm sure going to do my best. I find creative thinking has a way of boosting savings.
I'd like to keep grocery expenses to around $300. I was a little over that for August though we do continue to tweak what we buy. I'm buying less bread since I found that bread machine recipe that John likes so well. I posted that recipe in last week's comments section by the way. We're also stocking up at a slower rate and have decreased or meat purchases but prices are rising a little. Peach season almost always sees us spending a little more anyway and this year I bought enough peaches to share with Mama, Bess and Katie rather than just a small bag for us each pay period.
At least for this month, I'm going to try really hard to keep my credit card bill to the three monthly bills that auto charge and nothing else. In fact, I'm removing the card from my purse and stashing it away so temptation is well out of way. If I haven't cash to purchase an item, I haven't any business buying it!
Get together a list of items needed for colds, personal care, etc. and start stocking those things. I'd like to be prepared this year and not have to rush out to buy tissues and cold meds and such when we're already ill. Increased Vitamin C and D regimen is already in place just as a preventative measure.
Start planning holiday dates and meals and stock the non-perishable items. If I have a list I can buy one or two each pay period and set them aside.
Continue to help Katie gather what is required for baby's arrival. I actually have a dollar amount assigned to this in my budget this month. Fortunately she has all the bigger things.
I saw an ad this morning that a Downtown Abby movie is coming to theatres on September 5. I'd like to go see it.
Continue to try and cut computer time and read MORE. Do you know I sat here last night with one of my vintage magazines and read all the fiction stories, except one? It took up an hour of time but how nice it was to sit and just read with the football game on the radio in the background. Very relaxing. I've still quite a stack of September magazines to read through as well as continue with A Light In the Window by Jan Karon (#2 in Mitford series) and I am doing a Bible study on Galatians: Letter from Paul by Mary Weins. I've also started a book on intercessory prayer but I'm not sure what that title is and I don't want to go fetch the Kindle to look it up at the moment as I'll just get distracted from this task.
Start watching the next season of The Great British Baking Show. I really enjoy that program and I'm glad to have a new season to view.
You'll not all my personal plans appear to be leisurely. I find that if I don't promise myself leisure I don't take it! So my reward for doing as many of the tasks I can of what's listed above is tucked in here.
I do have a few items that are not leisure to add: I need to lose about five pounds in order to fit into a pair of black jeans that would add a great deal to my wardrobe. I've also been lax about monitoring blood sugars (mind you when I did check it was low enough but I haven't been consistent), nor have I taken my other vitamins and aspirin, etc. consistently. I mean to take better care of me, especially now we're entering cold/flu season.(C) Terri Cheney