We typically plan our road trips to Maine for the end of August. They represent one of our last chances to enjoy the summer season. Now, with pumpkins everywhere and leaves changing color, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that Fall is here. Summer is definitely my favorite season, so I tend to get a little sad when we put all of our sunshine accessories away. Although somewhat there, these feelings are not that strong just yet. It might be due to the fact that it’s still pretty warm and we’re not yet trapped inside by mountains of snow. However, I think it’s also because we packed so much fun into the past few months and have a lot to look forward to with the changing seasons.
Back To School
Goofball started 1st Grade a couple of weeks ago and is doing really well so far. He likes his teacher and is making friends. I was happy about the cost of school supplies. He received new sneakers, a new book bag, and the usually things like composition notebooks. The total cost was less than $50. Thankfully, we didn’t buy any new clothing for him as I had already stocked up at a consignment sale in the spring.
I’m not sure how I feel about all of the technology that they use. It’s neat that they use some programs that he can log on to at home. They are fun and educational, and he like to play them. These programs even have analytics on how he’s doing, showing the new skills he has mastered and total time spent using the programs each day. I don’t really like how he says it’s a lot easier to use it on the iPad at school. Mr. Smith and I discussed whether it was time to give in and buy something for the family. The idea is more persuasive now that it would be for educational and not just entertainment, but it’s really a question of wants versus needs. Nevertheless, we’re looking at an Amazon tablet instead of an iPad, MAYBE, for Christmas.
We’ve been meaning to go to the zoo all summer, but were always busy with other things. We were happy to hear about our local zoo recently doing a $2 admission day, so we took advantage of the deal. Yes, it was a bit crowded, but we still had a chance to see everything, and for an awesome price. We parked on a side street so there was no fee and brought along a picnic lunch. It was a super fun and frugal day!
The tomatoes are finally starting to slow down, but we’ve already canned a ton of sauce. In addition, we tried out canning banana peppers this year. I loved how you don’t have to boil the jars in a canning pot. All you have to do is boil a mixture of 50% water and 50% vinegar to add to the peppers. It’s hot enough that it will seal on its own. So easy! Now, we’ll just have to wait and see how they taste.
It’s about time to replenish our supply of applesauce. Two years ago we found a gentleman (via Craigslist) who has apple trees behind his house. He doesn’t do much with the apples (no pesticides or anything), so they aren’t very pretty, but he lets people pick them for a very cheap price. We filled up buckets and buckets of apples for the small price of $10. These apples are perfect for making applesauce, a treat that the kids particularly enjoy and makes a great addition to school lunches.
I’ve reserved a table at an holiday craft sale that takes place in about two months. Thus far, the fact that I’m making items to sell has not diminished my enjoyment of crochet. I’m working on baby blankets, winter hats, ornaments, baskets, and whatever else I can find time to create. My plan is to also bring along some DIY items that I’ve learned to make as Christmas gifts. It costs $30 for the table, but is a well-advertised event with no admission fees. This is an experiment in making money, but I’m hopeful that there will be a significant profit.
Any suggestions on ways to increase sales or other things to make for event?
As you may recall, last year I made some cute dinosaur costumes for Goofball and Tornado. It’s about time to get started on some new costumes. Tornado want to be a butterfly and Goofball wants to be a Velociraptor . . . for now.
Preparing For Winter
Mr. Smith has been going crazy collecting wood for the fireplace. He’s also getting to work replacing stones in the fireplace (I’m not quite so sure about the purpose of those) and getting it cleaned. We should be all set for a nice and toasty winter.
A big project deadline recently was extended, by a couple of months. My stress level immediately decreased. However, I’m a bit worried that my chronic procrastination tendencies will prevent me from using this extension to my benefit. I go back and forth on work, seemingly on a daily basis. There are some days when I can focus and be super productive and other days when I could really care less about it. The problem is that I am the breadwinner and more recently, the only source of steady income for our family.
I’m starting to get into a rhythm of steady freelance work. This side-hustle income is going towards paying off our debt. We should be on track to pay off ALL OF THE CREDIT CARDS by the end of the year! We still have a debt consolidation loan, but it would be wonderful not to have any credit card balances as we enter 2017.
Fall & Winter Plans
For now, I’m actually fine with the change in season. I will be very busy with making crochet items for the craft sale and as Christmas presents, working on Halloween costumes, trying to get ahead on work at my primary employment and freelance writing, and I want to finally publish my e-book. It’s been a work in progress over the past couple years. I just need to give it a final bit of focused effort and then I can share it with all of you! Everyone who is an email subscriber receives a free copy (just use the box on the right side of your screen or the pop-up one).
I’m hoping to use the time indoors this winter to get ahead on a lot of work and other responsibilities. We have some plans for special family time next year . . . more on that soon 😉