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Archive for August, 2011

How do I spend my time....

August 20th, 2011 at 06:56 am

I have been continuing my cleaning, organizing, de-cluttering and financing:

- worked in my bedroom - went through MY stuff (working with husband on HIS this weekend) Nice to know that I'm set for "back to school" and everything is organized and in order for crazy mornings.

- finally finished my June project of our big attic - cleared out more to donate, boxed up what was being kept, and put most of it back in the attic (except for holiday, the next time most of the boxes leave is with the girls as they move to their own permanent places in the future.) The couple of boxes still in the hallway upstairs are the only ones left to go through, but they're out of the way, so will get to as I'm able.

- ran one load of donations gleaned from the above projects a couple weeks ago, and have another smaller load to go after the girls go through their stuff once more before school (though some of their clothes will go to Plato's Closet first to see if they will buy.) Except for what was unearthed in the attic, there has been less and less for donation in general - helps to be doing it a little more regular, I think.

- in anticipation of a small family reunion of my husband's side at our house, the girls and I did a pretty decent cleaning of most of the house. What didn't get done before the party has now gotten done after - my bedroom's closet, dressers, and underbed storage (except husband's part.) I also worked on cleaning the main floor's windows and treatments, and our bed's duvet and cover. We had beautiful weather this week, so out on the line it all went to dry in the fresh air and sun. Feeling really good about the state of the house, as in the summer we tend to run to the lake or get outside in some manner over doing anything beyond basic housekeeping! And then once school starts.... :-) (Ok, ok, I'll admit I'm a bit cleaning challenged. I grew up in a house that was so clean that when we did the spring and fall housekeeping it always felt we were cleaning a clean house, but we did it anyway! Now my house...well, I love it when it is clean, but I see it as a losing battle that I never seem to win, but always have to attend. Well, my mom must be beaming at me from heaven this week!)

- clearing out the dregs of our small chest freezer - always amazing what finds its way to the bottom. Have been able to stretch out the grocery shopping this summer a bit, which is good.....

- ...as we've had to start paying for the our second daughter's schooling this week! She's off to a great start - excited about classes and what's she's learning.

- oldest daughter received her financial aid notice, and for the first time her grants and scholarships add up to enough that we won't have her take out any student loans for her this year! We can easily cover the balance of tuition and fees. Her work-study covers her living expenses and books. Life is expensive, but good around here!

- the two younger girls started their fall sports with a vengeance - that signals summer's end more than anything! Third girl is a junior and cheering again this year (not enough people for a squad last year.) And youngest is a freshman and on the tennis team. The fees are outrageous, but the girls put some of their own earnings toward the costs.

- finally getting some tomatoes - the Big Girl has gone crazy, but the Sweet 100s are struggling (something's eating the leaves - we've had an invasion in our area of japanese beetles, but I haven't found any on the plant.)

- still eeking out more summer pursuits while we can. I'm hanging my laundry out, swimming in the lake, pulling weeds and watering the garden, taking walks with my husband at the nearby county park. The state and renaissance fairs are coming up - we'll see how finances hold out as we get closer. I think we'll be cleaning and closing up the tent trailer for the season - definitely didn't go camping as much as we had wanted, but there were other things we did get to do instead. There's always next year!

Better end this novel...enjoy your weekend!

There is something about August....

August 7th, 2011 at 08:01 am

...for students and those who work with a school calendar, that makes a person crazy and lazy all at once!

I'm finding that I'll have big bouts of frenzied got-to-do-before-school-starts work sessions intermingled with oh-forget-it-all-and-go-to-the-lake carefree times. August at its finest....

My oldest was home for the past week, and it went fast, but was fun. We spent many afternoons in the lake, which was perfect for the hot, humid weather we had. We explored the Mpls Farmer's Market, and bought wonderful food for the week. We have a teeny local one, but it's fun to run into the city once in a while. We also explored the Uptown area while in town, and I showed the girls a few favorite places, including the fun Majors and Quinn Bookstore (a booklover's heaven.) We saw a movie (Cowboys and Aliens - daddy's choice) and had a shopping/lunching girls day (mostly window shopping, but definitely the girls' choice.) The girls used their season passes to Valleyfair Amusement Park. We cooked and grilled, played board games and watched some favorite dvds. We took oldest back on Friday, so she'd have a couple days before going back to work. We met up with the boyfriend and ate out before driving home. They may head our way in a couple weekends for a long weekend visit, and if they don't, we'll probably go up one more time before school starts up (we all go back after Labor day.)

Next weekend we are hosting a bbq for my husband's family. His aunt and uncle are visiting from Michigan, and his dad and sister and family are coming (not yet sure if his brother and family are - communication isn't the family's biggest asset.)

With company at our house in the next two weekends, we switched from decluttering to cleaning mode. Between kicking back in the lake and being outside every possible moment, there comes a time when you realize you've really let the house go! Actually we're pretty good with the regular stuff like meals and dishes and laundry and bathrooms, but it's the "projects" we're in the midst of that mess us up! We really mean to finish the project, and so leave it out. But with the incentive of company coming, the projects are being finished or put away for later, and the house is put to rights.

Current projects that are to be completed in time for this weekend's company - refinishing the dining room table top. I refinished it when I got the table, which I realized was seven years ago! It held up well, but was needing a good sprucing up. I knew I didn't want to be doing it in the last two weeks before school and with some predicted perfect weather, this week is it! May also do a dresser we've had in the living room, but not a high priority.

Another project is the flower gardens again... The weather has created a bumper crop for weeds! My cherry tomato is producing about one or two little tomatoes a day (note to self - plant several more of these next year.) The big tomatoes are starting to come in (think they're Big Girls) and used some in a taco salad last night. Boy, if all of the tomatoes on that plant go at the same time, well, I'll have to freeze some I guess!

Today, I'll put a couple of coats on the table, grocery shop, and organize one last shelf of the cabinet of the school supplies. From previous times, we're still supplied. I had about $42 in MaxPerks rewards from OfficeMax, so I bought more printer ink and the mechanical pencils the girls prefer (still have plenty of my preferred wooden ones.) Maybe there will still be time for the lake later this afternoon :-)

Have a great weekend!