September is a transitional month – as shown by my choice of snacks. I had my last ice cream cone of the season and my first Pumpkin Spice Latte! I loaded up on local fresh food: Coronation grapes, yellow plums, and corn on the cob.
In other food news, I had a memorable incident. Rom and I went to a new, informal restaurant with counter service. We placed our orders and were told to select a table. When we finished our meal and left, the owner chased us down on the sidewalk – we hadn’t paid! When I order at a counter, I usually pay immediately (as with fast food), so at leaving time, it didn’t even cross my mind that we hadn’t received a bill or gone back to settle it!
After a horrible, humid summer, the weather in September was perfect. Sunny and warm, cool breezes, cool nights. Great for walking, sleeping, gardening, everything! I almost wish it were Fall year-round. And then to top it off with that Super Blood Moon eclipse! Surreal.
I had some quality outdoor time with a long walk on the beach on the Labour Day weekend – something I hadn’t done all summer – and about 10 hours of yard work – weeding and trimming. I’ll have the same again to do in October before all the shrubberies are shaped up! Oh, you know my neighbor, who vacated her house next door and lives with her boyfriend and toddler across town? She has a new baby now and even less time to tend her abandoned property. I weeded both sides of our fence line again.
This month I amped up my fitness even more – unintentionally. The rink is open for skating again, so I’m back on the ice. It is such a welcome break from my elliptical machine. I have continued with the Jillian (Michaels) fitness DVDs occasionally. The gardening has been substantial enough to be real exercise! And I still walk to work. The big difference is that Rom is using the pedometer on his iPod Nano and trying to meet a daily step count goal. So even when I’ve met mine, we’ve been going for evening walks almost every day to meet his goal. To make the process even more tech-y, Rom has bought a handheld GPS so we have the exact distances of our usual walking routes 🙂 (Neither of us has a smartphone that can do this). So my joke about attaining physical excellence? You never know.
Now that I’ve had my FitBit for 2 months, I am starting to see some patterns. I have made a real effort to go to bed earlier and get more sleep on work nights. I set a goal of 7 hours sleep each night. Interestingly, to me anyway, I am averaging 7 hours a night, but only if I look at a whole month – half of the time I get less sleep and half of the time I get more. I work a day shift 4 times a week, and those mornings, I am always sleep deprived. It sounds good in theory to make it up on the other 3 nights, but in real life, being tired at work and rested otherwise is not OK! I will have to keep working on it.
One good thing about the Fall is…more take-home pay! In September, we have paid our year’s worth of EI and CPP premiums, so there are fewer payroll deductions for the rest of the year. I also completed a charitable donation deduction from payroll, so will have that amount to play with for the rest of the year, too. On the negative side, I got the annual bill for home insurance and it has gone up AGAIN. It has been increasing by over $100 a year! The company has the best rates for car insurance especially when bundled with a home policy. So if I shop elsewhere for the home portion, I may lose on the rate for our two cars. Grr!
Another home project is planned. We have two quotes on replacing the doors to the house. The framing is worn out and the doors themselves have seen better days. The plan is to put in new doors with storm doors/venting so they have windows that can be opened for air flow. Currently there is about a half-centimeter gap around the front door which lets air in/out; not good for either heating or air conditioning. But adding weather-stripping makes it too tight to close! The builders consider these small, pesky jobs and it is hard to get them scheduled. With any luck, the work will be done by year-end!
Rom and I had an actual getaway this month. Except for our vacations to visit family, we never leave town. Way back in the Spring, we bought tickets to see Scorpions at a venue about 3 hours away. We each took two days off work, drove up to Moncton to see the show, and stayed overnight. We had a leisurely day and visited the local comics and record shops and had a meal at a lovely veg restaurant. If you don’t know Scorpions, they are a melodic hard rock band who had a lot of hits in the 80s. They’ve been around almost as long as the Rolling Stones and are therefore not young guys, but they are true professionals. They do a great show (if you know their songs) and I am very glad we made the trip. Later in the Fall: Judas Priest!
Tonight I am off to Book Club, which has just resumed. We’re discussing The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, which I recommended to the group without having read it. It is the true story of a young woman in Afghanistan under Taliban rule who was left in her besieged city to care for her younger sisters. She initiated a home business making clothing, which soon supported the whole family during wartime, and even allowed them to train and hire others. The writing in the book is a little on the inspirational side, rather than the literary side, but I really liked the look into the living conditions, and how a woman living under a repressive regime was able to make such a difference.