I am revising all of my monthly Tasks & Tips to significantly shorten them. Previously, I listed items for each day of every month, which made them very long. I am still including a variety of things to prevent “All Work and No Play”, just in a different format.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing – Walt Disney Company
- August Calendar
- Named After: Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar
- The month of August was originally known as Sextilis, the 6th month of the Roman calendar. However, Roman senatus consultum renamed Sextilis it in honor of the many military triumphs of Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar.
Astrology has been around for more than 25,000 years (beginning with the Sumerians). I learned while working 25+ years in behavioral health that the alignment of celestial bodies directly affects human behavior. Therefore, I find it fun to include astrology every month.
- Zodiac Name and Dates: Leo, July 23 – August 22
- Symbol: Lion
- Greek Mythology: The goddess Hera caused Hercules to lose his mind. During that time, Hercules killed his wife and children. After he came out of his temporary insanity, he was upset to learn what he had done. He prayed to Apollo for guidance and had to serve for 12 years as punishment for the murders. Part of that sentence was to perform 12 feats that seemed impossible to complete. The 1st was to kill the Nemean Lion. The lion’s hide was unable to be killed by humans because its hide was impenetrable. Hercules’ arrow did not penetrate the hide so he chased the lion, hit it over the head and stunned it. He then choked the lion to death with his bare hands. Zeus commemorated the 1st labor by placing the Lion in the sky.
- Zodiac Name and Dates: Virgo, August 23 – September 22
- Symbol: Virgin
- Greek Mythology: Conflicting stories: One states: Icarius was cordial with Dionysus because he gave Icarius’ shepherds wine. The shepherds got drunk and thought that Icarius poisoned them and killed him. His daughter, Erigone, found his body and hung herself due to her grief. Dionysus placed Erigone in the stars, as Virto. Another states that Dionysus taught Erigone to make wine and she made wine for her master, who got drunk. The next day he thought she had poisoned him, so he killed her.
Moon Information: Even if you do not believe in astrology, the fact remains that tides are always much more severe during full moons. I have seen first-hand the effect full moons have on personality changes. I find the folklore attached to full moon names fascinating. Just for the fun of it, below is a tidbit of information about full moons.
- Your Moon Names: Both Sturgeon and also Farmers’ Almanac: Sturgeon
- Northern Hemisphere: Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon
- Southern Hemisphere: Snow Moon, Storm Moon, Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon
SORT: Organizational Tips
- Avoid the need to hire a plumber to clear clogged drains. Or, using harsh chemicals to clear drains. Conduct preventive maintenance to keep all of your drains clean and clear with no harsh chemicals.
- Remove the sink or tub stopper
- Clear the gunk that surrounds the bottom of the stopper and put it aside
- Pour one-quarter cup of baking soda down the drain followed by about one-quarter cup of white vinegar. It will fizz
- Set a timer for one hour and walk away from the drains
- When the timer goes off, you will need an old rag and your bathroom plunger
- Pour another quarter cup of white vinegar down the drain, hold the rag over the overflow hole in the sink
- Use the plunger to push the vinegar and baking soda down the drain pipe. I always use a “pumping” motion with the plunger to dislodge any buildup in the drain
- If you do this on a monthly basis, you will only need to pump your plunger a few times. However, if you have never done this before, when you use a pumping motion, you will see a lot of debris brought up and out of the drain when you lift the plunger. In those cases, you will need to pump the plunger until no more debris comes up and out of the drain
- It is okay for the debris to go back down the drain
- Run clear water down the drain
- Wash the sink, tub, shower, etc. as you normally would
- If you do this on a monthly basis, the water will flow easily and quickly down your drain
- While you are at it, when you finish with the drain, clean the screen traps that at the end of faucets. Mineral deposits caught in the screen traps will reduce water pressure
- Unscrew the end of the faucet with pliers, remove the trap from the tip and flush it out the debris and return the screen trap
A versatile money-saving tool for the kitchen is a cast iron skillet. A cast iron skillet can last a lifetime (my own has been used for more than 50 years!) with care. You can use it on the stove top, in the oven, and even camping. For many years, my family camped. In fact, that is how we were able to travel so much. Camping was a very inexpensive way for us to travel. We stayed at campgrounds some of our favorite annual festivals such as the Kutztown Folk Festival (Kutztown, PA), whale watching trips to Bar Harbor, Maine, Big Bear Mountain, California, Natural Bridge State Park, Virginia, and many more places. One thing that went with us on all camping trips, and I still use the same one today, was and is my cast iron skillet! When you combine an indispensable kitchen tool with best times to buy produce, you compound your savings. My Open Country provides some nifty recipes to use at campsites. If you do not have a cast iron skillet, Recommended Things provides results of research regarding the best ones currently available. The website also offers an infographic about some recipes using cast iron skillets. The Kitchn offers not only how to care for a cast iron skillet, but also many recipes. Morning Chores also offers a variety of recipes to make around home.
Events and Awareness Campaigns
Enjoy a Root Beer Float and celebrate Root Beer Float Day! According to Heads Up Boys Life, Root Beer Floats were invented by Frank. J. Wisner, the owner of Colorado’s Cripple Creek Brewing. Apparently, he thought that Colorado’s Cow Mountain with snowy peaks looked like ice cream floating in soda. He combined root beer and vanilla ice cream on August 19, 1893 and Root Beer Floats were born. A & W Restaurants shows “National Root Beer Float” day on their website. A & W Restaurants supports the Wounded Warrior Project and that is was all I needed to convince me to attribute National Root Beer Float day to A & W Restaurants.
National Farmers’ Market Week: August 5 – 11, 2018. If you follow my blog, you know that I am a huge advocate of farmers’ markets. Both Street Markets and Public Markets have their benefits. Public Markets can be a great place to find spices at great prices, both whole and ground spices. Public Markets are open year-round and housed in buildings. Street Markets are only available during growing season and can be found in parking lots, parks, roadsides, etc. Street Markets eliminate the middle-man and are usually run by those who grow the produce. Produce from Street Markets always tastes better and normally is less expensive than at supermarkets or Public Markets. You can find farmers’ markets by doing a web search. To get you started, the USDA provides a National Farmers Market Directory. Some farmers offer stands on their farm properties. When the produce you buy tastes better, the recipes you make will always taste better. As with produce you purchase from supermarkets, keep it out of direct sunlight and refrigerate ASAP. This is important not only to keep the produce from spoiling but also to prevent food poisoning. Consumer Safety Guide provides detailed information about food poisoning.
The Happy Happy Vegan provides some great food references as well as some great recipes. This is a time when I always stock up on berries so I can use them throughout the year. My article about National Blueberry Month explains how to freeze berries so they are not mushy.
Thomas Edison proposed to his 2nd wife, Mina Miller, in Morse code! They were married on February 24, 1886.
Best Time to Buy Things
According to Consumer Reports, August is the best time to buy Air Conditioners, Backpacks and Back-to-School supplies, Dehumidifiers, Outdoor Furniture, and Snow Blowers.
Louis Armstrong, one of the world’s greatest jazz musicians, was born (August 4, 1901) in New Orleans, Louisiana. He became known as “Satchmo”. According to IMDb: probably because he could not read his garbled notes. However, according to Legacy.com: As a child, Armstrong’s wide smile earned him nicknames like “Dippermouth,” “Gatemouth” and “Satchelmouth”. The latter became “Satchmo” in the 1930s when a London writer mistakenly contracted the words when he met Armstrong, according to the museum. Armstrong liked the nickname so much he used it for an autobiography and had it engraved on some of his instruments.
- How to Save Money at Farmers’ Markets
- Buy Local
- Know Where to Go
- Save SIGNIFICANTLY on Spices and Seasonings