That long weekend turned into weeks before I again had time and energy to blog. Much of that stemmed from just being busy - a work trip that took me from Boston to Dublin and NYC in 4.5 days, almost constant commitments on the weekend, and Sundays afternoons tied to the kitchen to process all of our CSA produce.
Even with not blogging, some produce rotted and commitments got pushed off. It's hard sometimes, balancing what I want to do with the things I need to do. And I've realized again, something I seem to learn but never recognize, that I seem to push myself to do more than many people I know. I have what we call in my family 'the busy gene' - I am much better at moving and accomplishing things than sitting still.
It's been an interesting summer so far. The weather has been strange - lots of monsoon-like rains have made us feel more like we live in a temperate rain forest than New England. It's also put a damper on many of our favorite summer activities, like sailing and gardening, although we fit in what we can when we can. And it's put the kibosh on some summer projects - the side of the house and the deck never dry sufficiently to sand down and paint, and with near-daily rains some weeks, paint would never dry anyway.
That hasn't stopped our town from instituting a mandatory watering ban, which is fine because we haven't had to hand-water the garden in weeks. The river that they use as a gauge is overflowing it's banks, but that's town government for you.
As for money, July was an expensive month. Our food budget got blown, as did several other areas of planned spending. Some of the food costs were due to increased pricing, the rest was due to shopping when I could fit it in, often hungry and without a list, which is always dangerous. Our local-food diet goals often went out the window, with whatever was good and handy getting eaten instead.
August has a feel for being more on track. Stock up shopping and meal planning should help offset some of the food costs, and preservable produce is now showing up weekly at our CSA, which is good - I'm far past sick of kale and chard. I've blanched and frozen several batches of string beans, and I have 4 lbs of carrots to can or freeze this week.
Our own garden is growing well, although we lost some squashes to rot because of all the rain. The tomatoes have been slow to ripen, but are growing like on steroids. Same with the peppers - in a week or so I can start having sauteed cubanelle sandwiches - just saute in a little butter and eat on toast - heaven.
Over the last few weeks, I've managed to lower our dry cleaning bill by doing more ironing. It's one of my least favorite activities, but we've seen some good results from it, and it's a chore I can fit into 10 and 15 minute segments, which is nice. My other clothing related goal, hanging more of my laundry, hasn't really worked out - we've had to almost constantly run the dehumidifier downstairs to keep the house minimally dry, so most things end up in the dryer. Hopefully the constant rain isn't a permanent climate change.
My outlook has also gotten more optimistic. Both the close coworker-consultants that were laid off nearest to me (of more than 30 in my department) found jobs quickly, or looked forward to the time off, having no worries about the next job. I guess that's the upside of no one enrolling in the IT programs in colleges - less competition.
The time off of blogging has done me good. I've managed to work on some projects, such as redesigning the budget that I've promised updates on, and I look forward to sharing those.
It also made me realize how much I missed blogging, and the conversations that come out of talking with the folks that read my blog.
So happy August! I hope everyone's summer is going well. I'll be talking to all of you very soon.