Ok, so it’s the 3rd and not the 1st. . . but I wasn’t going to waste the first gorgeous weekend we have had in weeks sitting behind the computer writing a post on Saturday!
I feel very refreshed and centered after my little blogging break. I still have some decisions to make in general about exactly what direction I’ll be taking going forward, but I’ve already made a few.
#1-I’ll be posting a bit less frequently. Most likely about 3 days a week, rather than the 5 to 6 I was doing previously. I’ve noticed since I cut back on the blogging I’ve had less migraines-so we want to keep that trend going. Also, It’s spring and there are tons of things to be done outside. Soon school will be out and I want to be able to spend good quality time with the kiddos. All of that adds up to the decision to post a bit less frequently.
#2-I will be traveling a lot less this year. I was gone way too much in 2009, and although I had a great time, met fabulous people and learned a lot. . . well, the family and house were starting to suffer a bit. I do have trips already planned for this year (a trip to Walmart HQ in June, BlogHer~where I’m co-hosting a “room of your own” discussion with the ever fabulous Lucretia Pruitt, and the SoFresh Social Media Cruise in December) but I’m going to keep that number down.
#3-This is transparent to most of you, but I will be cutting back on the amount of consulting I am doing.
#4-I will be making more time to do the things I love-the frugal projects and experiments that were the inspiration for my writing Frugal Upstate to begin with. Don’t expect it all next week or anything, but you will be seeing crafts made from old catalogs & magazines, how to repair your own jewelry, experiments with homemade yogurt and cheese, gardening, canning, knitting with old t shirts, salt clay projects, refinishing furniture and the like.
#5-I will make more time to be a good friend to those I am already friends with. Although some new friendships have flourished this year (love you guys-Lucretia, Deb, Heather, Lynnae and many many more) my “IRL” friends haven’t seen me much in the last 12 months. Family and friends are important, and shouldn’t be ignored.
#6-I will make sure I leave myself time to do the other things in life I love. Like singing, acting, crafts, reading. . .
Things I learned about myself:
#1-It’s hard to disengage. I really had a difficult time the first 2 days I was offline. I kept thinking of things I wanted to post, or tweet, or mention on facebook. I also kept thinking of things that I wanted to research online. It turns out that it was a good decision to get off of all those sites at the same time-if I had just tried to stop one, I would have compensated by spending more time on something else.
#2-When I don’t post my menu plan, I tend not to make a menu plan. I can’t TELL you the number of times in the last two weeks that I realized it was almost 5pm and I had no idea what I was serving for dinner. We ate out an embarrassing number of times (for us) and I made quite a few unscheduled trips to the much more expensive local grocery store to pick items to wicker together a meal. That was NOT frugal.
#3-Crafting makes me happy. I haven’t done many crafts in the last year and have always felt vaugly guilty when I’ve done so-like I should be using the time more productively to do something else. But when I do make time-it just plain old makes me happy to look at some fun little thing I’ve made with my own two hands.
Are wondering what I actually DID with myself in the last couple of weeks? Well here you go. . .
What I did:
Read 7 novels, skimmed 4 gardening books, a new cookbook and 3 books on paper crafting.
Made coiled paper bowls and coasters (beads are next).
Baked bread, muffins, banana bars,cupcakes & biscuits. Baked more cupcakes when Princess dropped the first set on the floor at school causing them all to be thrown out.
Tended my seedlings I started in the basement, to include rigging up lighting for them and transplanting some of them to larger containers.
Created my vegetable garden plan-including researching companion planting, organic pest control methods, planting dates for my area and ideas for succession planting.
I organized the guest room closet, removing all the old photos from frames and putting them in an archival quality album to save them. Completed 3 half completed projects that were taking up space. It still looks really messy up there, but I promise, we are much much closer to organized (you hear that Honey?).
Enjoyed spring break. The kids and I spent some good time together. We had a sleepover, we had friends over, we went to a local farm. My mom was visiting and took us to Chuck ‘e Cheeses (Thrilling for the kids, less so for us! Ah the things parents do).
My computer had the blue screen of death, so I took it in to Best Buy. Twice. Finally I wound up with a brand new hard drive. We won’t go into how much fun THAT whole process was.
We hosted Princess’s 9th birthday party for 11 giggling 9 year olds. . . (more on that in a later post)
I trellised the peas, weeded the rest of the garden and planted onions, garlic (yes, it’s late) lettuce, carrots, turnips, beets, cabbages, kohlrabi, brussel sprouts and cilantro. I planted up the herb planters next to my back door with seedlings from the farm we visited, and I started the nasturtium seeds in the planters that go on the front porch.
I hilled up the soil in the 20×20 garden plot at my MIL’s house for our “Three Sisters” garden. . . Corn, Beans & Squash. (that one gave me blisters)
I went to play rehearsal & worked on memorizing my lines. Note to self-we are supposed to be off book by Saturday-get to memorizing more!
I wiped tears, bandaided boo boos, said prayers, gave encouragement, walked the dog, cuddled with my husband and did all those things that are important in life.
Yes, all in all I had a good break.