I have to admit I like working in the summer. I like saving my vacation time for travelling to big cities in the Spring and Fall. So I didn’t take any time off in August, and that suited me fine. We had an unusually hot, dry summer. I can’t remember ever having so little rain. Here is where I admit that I like the rain, too! I don’t wish for anyone else’s summer vacation to be rained out, but a whole week without rain is unnerving – let alone getting through two months with just a few brief showers. Ask anyone here, and they will say they are ready for Fall and cooler temperatures. The new school year starts on September 8.
I enjoyed the work I did this month on a couple of new projects. Our computer instructor was on vacation so I filled in and provided a few classes, teaching people how to get started using Overdrive for e-books, how to use Google Photos, and the ins-and-outs of iTunes. Every day of the week at the library, we help people learn how to set up their new tablets, up or download their photos, attach their resumes to job applications, get started with Minecraft and Roblox, and you-name-it. All in a day’s work!
I completed a project at home, too – I removed all the sandy, depleted soil from the flower bed, replaced it with compost from the leaf pile and new top soil, and mulched over the top. Of course, I have nowhere to put the old soil, so a dirt pile is lurking behind the shed. Maybe I should have just put the new stuff on top and built it up a foot or so!
This month I got in 16 early morning workouts and 10 evening walks. Add in the gardening and I don’t think I had any completely inactive days. I am giving serious thought to joining the gym soon. I think I have enough of a fitness track record that it won’t go to waste. I’ll see if I can get a trial – to find out if I really can make myself leave the house to exercise. (My current stuff is all home-based). I have to say I dread changing and showering in locker rooms, but it is close enough that I can just go home if I want to.
In other health news, I had my annual dental check-up and had no cavities, whew! I’ve been using the Waterpik for 6 months now, so it has paid off.
August has been a great month for food. Rom and I had meals out 4 times, 3 by invitation and once on our own. We checked out the newest vegan place in town and it was lovely. In other social news, my family had a combined birthday celebration for my brother and sister, whose birthdays are less than two weeks apart. And I reconnected with an old friend whom I had not seen in 31 years!! – longer than many of my readers have been alive 🙂 A lot has happened since 1985…
Throughout August, I also had my fill of peaches and nectarines, plums, Coronation grapes, and watermelon feta salad. Oh, and salted caramel ice cream!
Rom and I watched a DVD documentary called The Clean Bin Project in which a couple competes with each other to produce the least garbage for a whole year (à la Zero Waste Home). It was inspiring – a competition is not brewing at our house, but it put the issue to the forefront again.
I walk to and from work daily, a little over a kilometre each way. There is one litter bin on the sidewalk near the local school, one at the playground, a new one at the skate park, and several in my work building. The route I walk is well-travelled and has numerous bus stops. Every day I pick up as much litter as I can carry to the next litter bin, and every day it has been replaced by more. I don’t imagine that if I stopped, anyone would have an a-ha moment and realize the garbage is piling up – it just blows around from one property to another. It is very discouraging, but I would rather pick up some litter than do nothing.
You’ll be surprised to hear that I decluttered something BIG this month: most of our family LEGO collection! Link and I had built all the models when we bought/received them, and rebuilt them all once or twice, but we are ultimately not collectors. We had no intention of selling any sets. So Link decided to keep the pirate ship, and I decided to keep the train set and the Darth Vader Tie Fighter, and the two architecture sets I haven’t built yet, and a bin of basic blocks for making things freestyle. If you think that sounds like a lot, you should have seen it how much there was before! All the rest has been disassembled and donated to the library as loose pieces. (The library actively encourages LEGO donations and we have “LEGO Block Parties” for kids regularly). I feel good about its new home!
Lest you think I am too good a non-consumer, I succumbed to buying a spider lamp this month. I am sure they are a passing trend but I couldn’t resist and I really like it! Maybe I am compensating for the loss of the LEGO by buying household items that look like toys.
Finally, you may remember that Rom studies philosophy as a hobby. I have a general interest, but not at his level. He recently bought one of the Great Courses on deep discount and we have been listening to daily 30-minute episodes of the series The Modern Intellectual Tradition from Descartes to Derrida. As one does in one’s spare time 😉
I will leave you with a peek at what August looks like here. We don’t have hedgerows, but the roadsides and ditches are filled with colourful seasonal weeds!
(click one to enlarge and start slideshow, if you like)
How was your August?