Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Morning notes

A soft (so, humid), warm breeze from the south. Our second river birch leafing out; it's always several weeks behind the first -- I wonder if there's some male-female?? difference between the two. My front garden bed is full of the new green leaves of my perennials, promise of things to come. A friend gave me a whole lot of dug-up lily of the valley plants, and I have purple hyacinth beans to plant from another friend. I'm antsy to go ahead and prep my big pots with soil, so I can plant veggies and herbs at last. The pantry is beginning to return to its typical full state; the freezer is full and destined to be our main food resource to clear some space. THE TAXES ARE DONE! A full two weeks ahead of my usual date (ie, tax day, April 15) -- this is truly amazing for me. I'm antsy to pick up my sock knitting but a bit nervous about picking up again the new-to-me cable aspect (ruffled pink "hoses and ladders" preschooler sock).

My brain has been full lately, and I find rest in leaving the radio off in the car and the house. I've been thinking and learning about a bunch of different things, and also putting into practice (at least some of) them. Areas of interest:

1. Really working our money hard again, to create more buffer and possibly pay down our debt even faster. Currently 20 percent of our monthly income goes to debt, but the end is in sight and I want it Here Now! So... my focuses are to sell Tupperware, use The Grocery Game to cut grocery costs while stocking our pantry and freezer, try an envelope system for our variable monthly expenses (groceries, any eating out, gas, "incidentals"), and get back to a one- or two-week menu list and having dinner decided by bedtime the previous night.

2. Figuring out Son1 and what's ahead for him and us. He's definitely a preteen. I'm reading lots of books. The Love and Logic book about teens, the Rosemond book about teens, several books about staying connected with our teens, The Good Son, A Field Guide to Boys and Girls, and so on.

3. Sustainable and simple living. I'm reading about peak oil. Then I'm going to catch up on the whole global warming thing. I'm going to return to ordering monthly from our food co-op, and the farmers market just opened, so that's where I'm going to buy most of our fruit and vegetables -- local, in season, from the growers. I'm thinking about ways to protect the house better from summer heat so we can use less air conditioning (a big challenge here in Oklahoma). I really, really want to move the cooking and its associated heat out of the house in the summer, but I'm not sure how that would actually work. It's possible I will go ahead and experiment with a solar oven, something I've been interested in for a couple of years. It's supposed to work great in Oklahoma. I really want to put up a clothes line. This would explain the hangers full of clothes all over the sunroom and other parts of the house, dear husband!

4. Trying to catch the moment in the yard and garden beds. We need to weed AND move plants around RIGHT NOW. I have overall plans that I spent an entire year working out -- no problem there. Now I need to take friends up on their offer to combine yard work days, and schedule a day ASAP for moving plants. I also really really want some sort of vine-covered arbor/trellis/something to shade the southwest-facing living room window and fireplace brick; it'd be even cooler (oh! a pun!) if it had green beans or shelling beans on it.

5. Uncluttering and decluttering the house. The eternal task, but I really believe the house is more enjoyable and easier to keep tidy and clean when there is little or no clutter. It's a goal that seems nearly reachable. Do a little every week, do something bigger once a month (deal with boxes in the garage, clean out the sunroom, ...).

6. Manage the calendar, rather than letting it manage us. April and May are busy for us, with several fun activities we could do every week (Medieval Fair last weekend, and a Local University baseball game)... baseball and T-ball practices starting soon and segueing into games and practices in May (so, dinners en route or at the ball park)... Holy Week and Easter... various end-of-the-year events with organizations, church, and school (1889 Land Run field trip for Son1 -- I am so there!)... Last year went pretty well, so I know it's time to look carefully at the calendar for this month and next, and be thinking ahead.

Okay, gotta go. That's this morning's brain dump!


Melessa said...

Hi Barb! I don't know if you remember me, but I was once your Tupperware lady long ago. I have no idea how I stumbled across your blog-I recognized your name in some unrelated search, found Faith At Home, and here I am. I guess I don't have much to say except that I too enjoy blogging and this is the first time I've accidentally found the blog of someone I've met in person. You are welcome to check out my blog too-though I'm not nearly as well-organized or well-written as you are. (Consider yourself warned.)

Barbara said...

Hi Melessa! Isn't it a small world sometimes? Amazing! Will you email me or post your blog address in a comment here? Blogger doesn't list a blog for you, so I'm in the dark. Thank you :)

Melessa said...

That's odd that Blogger isn't doing that. I gave it "permission." Oh it is:

Melessa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Barbara said...

Thanks Melessa!

The Shoes of Salvation said...

I thought I had a busy life! How wrong I was...