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.
- July Calendar
- Named After: Julius Caesar (100 – 44 BC), whose birth date was July 13. Named after his assassination.
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: Cancer, June 21 – July 22
- Symbol: Crab
- Greek Mythology: The crab is one that pinched Hercules on the foot while he was fighting the Hydra. This pleased Hera who later placed him in the sky.
- Zodiac Name and Dates: Leo, July 23 – August 22
- Symbol: Lion
- Greek Mythology:: Hera ordered the creation of the lion. It lived in a cave in the Nemean Mountains and killed people and cattle down in the valley. Hercules strangled the lion as one of his tasks. He wore the skin as a trophy.
- Northern Hemisphere Moon Names: Thunder Moon, Hay Moon
- Southern Hemisphere Moon Names: Wolf Moon, Old Moon, Ice Moon
SORT: Organizational Tips
Christmas in July! Check out The Holiday Spot for all sorts of information about Christmas in July.
SAVE: Money-saving Tips
The year is more than half over. Check your credit report annually from the 3 major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, TransUnion. You can get a free report from all 3 at AnnualCreditReport.com (Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website). You can get your free credit score, monthly, from Credit Karma. Whether or not it is fair, many loan companies base their interest rates on credit scores. If you will be in the market for any kind of loan in the near future, monitor your credit score, and do some damage control, if needed, before getting a loan. This will ensure that you get the lowest interest rate possible for your situation.
NOTE: Many financial experts suggest that you request your credit report from just one of the 3 major agencies every 4 months. However, my son, who used to work in a bank credit department, told me to request the report from all 3 agencies simultaneously. When you compare all three reports, you immediately see any discrepancies, whereas you won’t when looking at just one report.
Events and Awareness Campaigns
Take Back Your Unused Drugs:
- The DEA lets you search for centers in your location by entering your zip code.
- DEA “General Public Fact Sheet”.
- To get rid of meds that are outdated or you no longer use: FDA Consumer Health Information.
- EPA Fact Sheet: How to Dispose of Medications Properly.
- The FDA also lists medications (listed by active ingredient) that you CAN flush down the toilet.
- Drugs.com has their own information sheet.
- The average plastic bag is only used for 25 minutes before being trashed.
- It takes between 100-500 years for a plastic bag to disintegrate.
- 1 trillion plastic bags are in use around the world at any given minute.
- 80% of marine litter is plastic.
There is an easy fix so that you leave this world in better condition for your kids, grand kids, marine life, etc. Bring your own bags and reuse them. Just remember to toss your reusable bags in the laundry every 2-3 months to keep germs and other nasty things from growing inside your reusable bags.
While produce is in season, they will be cheaper and also taste GREAT! Now is the time to buy them and freeze some for winter months. One method: spread them out on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer overnight. The next morning, transfer the fruits/veggies to re-sealable plastic bags. Remember to label and date each bag and update your freezer inventory so you remember to use them. When you take them out of the freezer, use them for cobblers, smoothies, stir fries, casseroles, etc. Grapes are also an excellent snack to freeze and eat while they are frozen!
July is National Blueberry Month: Blueberries are GREAT for your health no matter what time of year. These blue beauties have more anti-oxidants than any other fruit. They freeze beautifully. If you pick your own, use the tip that I provide in Keep Foods Fresh Longer. For other ways to use blueberries, see Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Blueberries. And, just for fun, I found some Blueberry Trivia.
Other methods to preserve fresh fruits & veggies: freezing, canning, drying, etc. Bell peppers is a perfect example. They are extremely healthy and can be used in many recipes. One method of freezing peppers comes from Cook It Quick. Other methods of preserving foods can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation. I always double bag fresh fruits & veggies before storing in my freezer. I have found that this method helps to keep them fresher even longer than 6-8 months.
I also make a variety of different pesto recipes because herbs are all in season now. Because herbs are very expensive to buy, I grow my own. You can even grow them in pots if you live in an apartment. I freeze the pesto in tiny glass jars that hold enough for one recipe. Pesto is good in many recipes (not just on pasta).
- The Tour De Donut race will be held in Staunton, IL on July 14, 2018. This is a spoof on the Tour de France. Riders are encouraged to eat a donut at the two checkpoints!
- The first Lunar Laser Ranging Retro Reflector Array (LRRR) was placed on the moon by the Apollo 11 crew on July 20, 1969. During that same flight, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step foot on the moon. His historical statement: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. The LRRR measures the distance between the Earth and the Moon to a very precise degree.
- July does not end on the same day as any other month, except during leap years. The next leap year will occur on February 29, 2020.
Best Time to Buy
All end-of-season items such as fans, air conditioners, summer sports gear and sportswear, and post-Independence Day supplies such as soda, barbecue meats, and barbecue coals.
Buy a NEW car: just about any day is good, provided you conduct thorough research before setting foot in any dealership. Research should include things such as:
- Before you buy a new car, be sure to conduct thorough research so you know how much you can afford to spend each month, the trade-in value of your current car (if you will be replacing it), shop around for extended warranties so you know what your options are, what your credit rating is (so you know approximately what percent interest will be available to you), get yourself pre-approved so you know how much of a loan you will be qualified for, etc. If you belong to a credit union, be sure to check there for loans. Many times, credit unions will offer better value loans than banks, loan companies, etc.
- Know what vehicle interests you and when the manufacturer for that model’s fiscal year ends. If a manufacturer’s sales are lower than their target anticipated figure, they will provide dealerships with additional incentives and rebates to offer to potential customers. This is especially the case if they are a publicly traded company.
- Find out when new car shows will happen throughout the year. Those shows will drive many sales throughout the USA (get the pun?). I provide detailed explanations and links in an eBook I wrote: Online Purchase Combination Techniques.
Because July is home to the USA’s Independence Day, it is a great time to provide a brief history of Ellis Island. The island that we know today as Ellis Island has a long and colorful history. It was initially inhabited by the Lenape Indian tribe, who referred to the island as Kioshk (meaning “Gull”) Island. Prior to the American Revolutionary War, it was known as: Oyster Island (due to fertile oyster banks surrounding the island). After a group of pirates was hung on the island, the name became known as Gibbet Island (Gibbet is an upright post with a projecting arm for hanging the bodies of executed criminals as a warning). On July 12, 1630, Governor of New Amsterdam bought the island from American Indians. It was later purchased by Samuel Ellis, who lived on the island and owned a tavern there. He advertised the land mass as a great location for digging oysters and visiting his tavern. When Mr. Ellis died in 1794, his heirs inherited the island and sold it in 1808 to the US government for the purchase price of $10,000. The American government seized the opportunity to purchase the island because during the American Revolutionary War, there was minimal protection to the New York harbor from British invaders. In 1795, the US War Department built Fort Gibson, which was finished just prior to the War of 1812. In 1891, the US Office of Immigration was established and money was appropriated to construct a new immigration station on Ellis Island. From 1892 until the Immigration station was closed in 1954, 12 million immigrants passed through to realize the “American Dream”. Today, the island and all facilities are museums. You can purchase tickets to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island here.
I will provide interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty in October Tips and Tasks. The reason for October is because France gave the statue to the United States as a gift on October 28, 1886.
- Full Moon Trivia
- Free Annual Credit Report
- National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
- Minimize Food Waste
- Traditionalist Generation