Two words for September:
This month we had our first ever watering ban – not allowed to water lawns and gardens, wash cars, etc. Uncanny! Usually we spend half the summer complaining about the rain and lack of proper weather. We were all suspiciously silent. By mid-August, I could hear mutterings about looking forward to Fall. Then we had another whole month of parching sun. Now everyone is openly looking forward to cool nights and regular rainfalls. We have no idea what the normally spectacular Fall foliage will look like. Maybe the leaves will just crumble away!
Given how seldom I had to mow the lawn this summer, I could have done a lot more gardening/landscaping, and didn’t!
We made our last summer walk to the neighbourhood ice cream stand, and made a point of getting Blizzards at DQ as well. It just isn’t summer without a Skor Blizzard!
I worked hard at the library all month, and did a lot of overtime including 4 weekend days instead of my usual one. I had a lot more variety at work since I was in two project groups, and I was sent with other managers for media training. We were filmed doing live interviews and then had them critiqued by our peers. I have been on camera a few times but never with an aggressive reporter (as this exercise simulated). One in our group was a natural but the rest of us stayed true to our librarian roots. I have decided that when I do public speaking in the future, I will video myself and play it back as practice, rather than just talking out loud to myself. It was a really helpful technique.
You know from a previous post that I reorganized my wardrobe into new cabinets. I had the biggest declutter ever: two dressers, a night stand, a headboard, a coffee table, an end table, a desk and a small storage cabinet. I am enjoying the much improved feng shui!
I had a spendy month. Besides the cabinets, I replaced the TV I broke when we had the house painted.
We saw (our grown-up kid) Link when we travelled to the Rockies this summer, so we skipped our annual trip to Toronto to see them. The budget was looking healthy this Fall and Link will not be home in December, so we decided to squeeze in a Toronto trip after all. I stumbled across a seat sale (airfare discount). Then we called the B&B where we stayed last time, and the owners said they would be unable to provide breakfast, so they offered us a big discount! It is shaping up to be quite an affordable trip. Not until mid-November, but I am greatly looking forward to it!
I had to take my car in for a coil recall recently and then a return visit for creaky noises. Fortunately, all is resolved. I didn’t enjoy having to make arrangements to drop off and pick up my car twice during work time. The service appointments were free (seeing as they were due to manufacturer defects) but I have budgeted more for car repairs next year, when my car will be 5 years old.
I did up a “draft” 2017 budget to see what my year might look like. I am not expecting any major changes, and I’ll be putting the same amounts into long-term savings and travel. This year I automated all of my charitable donations, and didn’t miss the money at all, so I can probably creep the amounts up a little. I am thinking of two changes. I missed having access to TV shows last year for the winter awards season – Superbowl, Grammys and Academy Awards, none of which can be watched live online. So we may reinstate the basic level of cable TV for a few months. We don’t get any over-the-air reception. I am still deciding whether to join the gym. I pay $31/month for skating, and a full membership is $48, so for $17/month more I can use all the facilities and there are loads of free classes for members. It is in the building where I work so it requires NO additional effort on my part!
I’ve been trying to figure out two things, fitness-wise. I do not want to take up running (and I mean I really, really will not take up running) but I envy the training and personal-best recording that runners get to do. So I am trying to think of a different activity that will motivate me with training and stats. (To my sister: it will not be geocaching, either). Conversely, the other thing I want to do differently, at least some of the time, is to think less! I was speaking with someone this week who does a dance-related fitness activity and finds it great for de-stressing because it is completely immersive. Whereas I use exercise machines and go for walks, freeing my mind to endlessly review work and personal issues that don’t need the attention. (Despite what I said in my last post about not needing to process my thoughts by dreaming at night!)
This has been an unsatisfying month for reading. I read three books that were only so-so: The Thing with Feathers (a science book about birds), Tokyo on Foot (a graphic novel-style travel memoir) and The Swans of Fifth Avenue (a fictional account of Truman Capote in the 60s). They all had enough to keep me going, but only just. I have 3 books on the go now, and they all have good aspects, but none are page-turners and I may or may not finish them: Selected Stories by William Trevor (he is a wonderful author, but the stories are best enjoyed slowly), In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art (good concept but not compelling so far) and Traveling with Pomegranates (a travel memoir written by a 50-year-old parent and her 22-year-old daughter who visited Greece together when they were both going through major transitions in their lives). Luckily I have a new reading project coming soon!
After 2 months, Rom and I have listened to 25 of the 36 lectures in the Great Courses philosophy audio course that Rom bought. I don’t listen to podcasts so I had to work on sitting and just listening for 30 minutes at a stretch! That in itself has been educational. I’m not sure if I’ll remember much of the content. “In one ear and out the other,” as they say. I am not an auditory learner!
I hope everyone with distinct seasons has enjoyed the changing of them. How was your September?