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.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream (C. S. Lewis)
Labor Day: September 3, 2018: Background Checks provides an excellent resource about the history of Labor Day. I found the article very interesting, and I agree that Labor Day has morphed from the original intent.
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.
Random Acts of Kindness
Doing nice things for others is a win-win return. It makes recipients happy and you also feel good! Below are a few suggestions to get your little grey brain cells primed:
- Drop off books and magazines you no longer read to a hospital, nursing home or doctor’s office.
- Leave a “thank you” note in your mail box for your mail carrier. You would be amazed at how many people never, ever thank their mail delivery people! Or trash removal staff! Or police officers!
- Offer to babysit, for free, for a single parent. Give him/her a free movie ticket or Visa gift certificate (even as small as $5 so they can buy a treat for him/herself. Many single parents struggle to make ends meet. They rarely get breaks to do anything for themselves. They rarely complain and are happy to do that for their children.
SORT: Organizational Tips
Emergency Preparedness Month. Because of the importance of being prepared BEFORE an emergency strikes, I regularly update preparedness information. If you have a survival stash of no less than 30 days, you are on the right track. However, if you do not have an extended emergency/survival stash, focus on the most important items first. To determine what those items are, see the Survival Rule of Threes. The Urban Survival website offers great information, whether you are at home or in the wild.
Authorized Boots offers detailed information about how to prepare for emergencies. Hurricane Irma last September was the first time in US history where an entire state was under mandatory evacuation. I returned to Florida 3 weeks after Irma had cleared Florida. As my family returned back home, we passed HUNDREDS of utility trucks from many states that were heading north. It was an amazing feeling to see utility companies from many states help get Florida up and running again. They were all returning to their respective homes. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped!!! Some people believe that this hurricane was a result of the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Whatever the reason, many people were without power for weeks. Those who had made preparations for emergencies had better quality of life until things got back to normal. Gas stations throughout the entire state of Florida were all out of gasoline. Therefore, stores could not replenish their supplies because trucks could not get to them.
It is often difficult to determine what items you might need in an emergency. One tip that I can offer is to turn off the master breaker switch to your house for one entire day. You will very quickly learn what things you will need! One day is not long enough for the food in your refrigerator to go bad, as long as you leave the door open. However, this exercise immediately shows you what things are most important.
SAVE: Money-Saving Tips
Actually, the colored tabs and twist ties are more for stock clerks than for customers. Bread is normally left on store shelves for no more than 3 days. Stock clerks can quickly identify which loaves of bread to replace by the colored tabs and twist ties. Some supermarkets put older loaves of bread on sale. Others donate those loaves to charitable causes.
- Monday – Blue
- Tuesday – Green
- Thursday – Red
- Friday – White
- Saturday – Yellow
Some tabs have dates printed on them. According to WiseBread, those dates are “sell-by” dates rather than the date the bread was baked.
I rarely trash stale bread because there are many ways to use it. You can make breadcrumbs, a filler for hamburgers or meatloaf, French toast, bread pudding, stuffing, croutons, and more.
Events and Awareness Campaigns
September is Emergency Preparedness Month. This is like insurance: hopefully you will never need it; however, if you do, you will be glad you prepared! My personal idea of emergency preparedness also includes being as comfortable as possible during difficult times. I have also worked toward being as self-sufficient as possible. In addition to many preparation tasks, I also planted a variety of fruit trees. I keep being told: “I never thought about that”. My fruit trees are fully established. They now need minimal care and I always have a variety of fruits that I can turn into meals. I used the Survival Rule of 3 to get started and have built everything from there. Hurricane Irma last September provided many hard-learned lessons!
I have fun incorporating all of the many awareness campaigns into my monthly menu. I wrote an article several years ago about what check offs are and how they are extremely helpful to consumers. I have built that information into my monthly menus. Keep in mind that I have worked at building my menus for many years. I link the various menu items to the recipes in my computer for easy retrieval. In many cases, the menus include information that I learned about check offs so that I automatically save money. I also include events such as Oktoberfest, which provides variety in my menus. Equally as important to me is many retailers put Oktoberfest food-related items on sale. One of my favorite stores to visit for Oktoberfest foods is Aldi, which is based in Germany. Although Oktoberfest has a lot to do with beer, I am more interested in the different foods that are offered.
- National Honey Board
- Mushroom Council
- National Potato Council and Potatoes USA
- Oldways Whole Grains Council
- Oktoberfest Website (Germany: you will need to translate). This year, Oktoberfest runs from 9/22/2018 – 10/7/2018. I thoroughly researched information about Oktoberfest. If you are interested, please see my article: Willkommen auf dem Oktoberfest.
Shopping Malls: Visits to shopping malls declined by 50% between 2010 and 2013. However, experts believe that not all shopping malls are doomed. Some high-end malls are bringing on more middle-class stores in an effort to compete with online retailers. Shopping malls need to become “destination centers”. They must use more innovative ideas and include entertainment, restaurants, and innovation centers to survive.
Best Time to Buy Things
- Back to School Supplies: Remember to stock up on your home office supplies, too
- Gardening Supplies: end of the season close-out sales
- Summer clothes: retailers will put on clearance sales to make room for winter clothing
Keys will soon be “past history”. Locks will still be around; however, the “flat keys” that we use today will soon fade into the sunset. In fact, many businesses have already phased out keys and now use chip-enabled card access readers. Many vehicles are already being manufactured with push-buttons to start the ignitions.
The first keys were made by Romans. They used iron and bronze to create what we know as “skeleton keys”. Over many years, skeleton keys have morphed into “flat keys”. Those are the keys that many of us use today. Soon, technology will obliterate the need for physical keys. Already, companies such as Kwikset and Schlage offer electronic door locks. These are great because you can quickly and easily change key codes. You can issue different codes for family members, next door neighbors, maintenance people, etc. When the maintenance has been completed or you have family problems, simply delete those key codes. Already, the ability to use their smart phones to get access to their homes. Safety features are already in place such as fingerprints or facial scans. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can use someone else’s phone to log in, get access, and change your digital code.
- Willkommen auf dem Oktoberfest
- Lights Out: Preparing for Long Power Outages
- September is Emergency Preparedness Month, Phase 1
- Emergency Preparedness, Phase 2: Set up Go Bags for You & Your Family AND Your Pets
- Emergency Preparedness, Phase 3: Safety Tips for if You Shelter in Place
- Emergency Preparedness, Phase 4: Home Photo Inventory
- Emergency Preparedness, Finale