Independence Days – August 26

For me, late August is an antsy time. (Okay, who am I kidding?  A lot of my time is antsy time, just for different reasons).  In any case, a few weeks before classes start for the fall is the time when I’m selecting readings, choosing assignments, and getting syllabi ready.  It is, I find, somewhat uncomfortable – I haven’t yet settled on everything that needs to be decided, and the start of classes feels like it’s creeping forward at a far too rapid pace.  At the same time, it’s also the start of job hunting season, and so I have a series of applications to pull together and submit that need to be dealt with too.  In short, the work-related to do list is long, and it feels like time is rather short.

This means that I tend to slow down on just about everything else at the same time, including Independence Days (except perhaps for thrift store shopping, since I usually pick up a few things to replace my clothing that has worn out or become too dirty through summer activities and wind up with a number of new and useful things).  The timing is not great, since this is the ideal time of year to be putting up food.  But I’ve had to accept that there are some other priorities that I need to work on – especially related to fulfilling work requirements and looking for a more permanent job – and that there are some things that I won’t be doing as much as I’d like.

Plant something:  As ever, more kombucha; trying out some lettuce seeds in plastic bins

Harvest something:  Mint, chives, basil, oregano, thyme, and borage; green peppers, sweet peppers, chard, kale, tomatoes, and lettuce

Preserve something:  Dried herbs; refrigerator pickles

Waste not: Made a whole lot of thrift store purchases this last week (thanks, in part, to the big back to school 50 percent off sale at the large local store) including nine books (Girl in the Kitchen, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jams, Jellies, and Preserves, Food Rules, The Worst Hard Time, A Brief History of Time, Made from Scratch, The Family Fang, Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and a nice edition of The Grapes of Wrath), a large round casserole dish (for use as a bread bowl), a cow-shaped creamer (a long-held but rather frivolous desire), three pairs of pants, a t-shirt, two pairs of boots, one pair of shoes, two throw pillows with shams, a tomato presser, santoku knife, glass jar with spigot, honey pot with dipper, Le Parfair jar, plaid wool blanket, spice rack with jars, oven mitt, quilter’s pencil, bag of beeswax votive candles, and four candle holders – the grand total was $84, and now I I’m looking forward to doing even more of a serious clean out to make room and keep things under control around here; added two more boxes to the donation pile

Want not:  Organized the large closet and the front hall closet for better food storage; stocked up on books and clothing for back to school and the coming months (I’m hoping for more time at home when I’m not teaching, especially time spent reading on the couch and cooking)

Eat the food:  Many salads, sandwiches (tuna on multigrain, cheese on whole wheat), oatmeal, pasta with veggies, frittata, fajitas, fish and chips, soup, dried and fresh fruit

Build community food systems:  Nothing this week

Skill up:  Getting back into knitting (I’m working on a wool log-cabin blanket); still playing the guitar and making a bit of my own music; reading up on different approaches for making bread, and especially wholegrain options

Get healthy:  Working on the cholesterol-improving healthy eating plan; regular bike rides, walks, and yoga; nightly meditation; extra sleep

This week’s to-do list:

  • can one thing that’s currently stashed in the freezer or reading to pick from outside (yep, this one’s still on the list)
  • add another box of stuff to the donation pile (still aiming for at least one per week)
  • finish course prep so I can stop thinking about it
  • apply for two jobs
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