Sunday, August 1, 2010

TSS: The First of August

It is August first which signifies a couple of things for me.  First of all, the August Break challenge has officially begun (yippee!!) and secondly, my carefree summer must begin to include some back-to-school planning or I will be significantly behind in a very short while.  So I have found myself in a rather pensive, reflective mood today.  Not sad or depressed, but rather purposefully thinking about ways to simplify my life so that I can enjoy the journey that fall will bring, rather than becoming my typical workaholic self.

The August Break challenge should be a lot of fun and by taking nearly 500 pictures yesterday at the Omaha Zoo, I don't think I will be lacking too much material this first week.  Since the challenge does not have too many rules (in fact, one could argue that there are really no rules), I have decided that I will experiment taking a few creative shots to post to the webpage, as well as several shots to document the events of my life.  While I will strive to post a photograph a day, and I want to challenge myself to take  pictures every day (that is the ONLY way that I will become comfortable with the camera), I will not pressure myself into posting a daily photo taken that day.  You may see some pictures taken last week, last year, or even a few years ago.  you may see a narrative attached to the story (in my effort to hone the Journalist Photo concept) or, as school starts and I am easing in to a new routine, you may just see the photo itself.  This rather laid-back laissez-faire attitude is quite a change for me, but hopefully this will be the beginning of a new lifestyle and mental attitude.

I have already started working on some back-to-school items.  I have all syllabi written and finalized about 90% of them, I have acquainted myself with the new communication software system, and I have read and annotated most of the text that I will be using in the new college-credit writing course.  Since I know my pay will decrease due to lower enrollment figures, and I know my free time will be reduced due to the addition of two new classes to my schedule, I have decided to implement a menu plan into our daily lives.  This is something that I should have done years ago, but somehow I never made the effort.  

Most of today has been spent pouring through favorite cookbooks and tried-and-true recipes in order to help me develop a master list of recipes.  I am typically very organized, and so in devising the monthly menus I have decided that I would try assign a certain food group to each day of the week.  For example:
  • Sunday = family meal day (roasted chicken, beef brisket, baked ham....etc)  These will provide leftovers to use throughout the week.
  • Monday = slow cooker meals - since Mondays are the longest day of my work week.
  • Tuesday = pasta night
  • Wednesday = stir fry night
  • Thursday = leftover night - or if no leftovers, then some kind of hot or cold sandwich
  • Friday = pizza night (this has been a long-standing family tradition)
  • Saturday = impromptu meal - either based on the day's activities and/or the weekly grocery circular.
Hopefully this will be a good start to a more healthy diet - both dietary and monetary.

I am not sure what the week has in store as far as reading is concerned.  I am hoping that my daughter and I can catch some matinee movies before school starts.  I am very interested in seeing Toy Story 3 and Inception.  I have a number of photography books that I have ordered from the library to coordinate with the August Break challenge, and I also have a few books on writing left to browse through before I am inundated with high school textbook assignments.  I have organized all of Mandy's photos and expect to receive the prints in the mail by the end of the week.  I need to scan about 8 more years worth of her pictures into the computer (so that I have a copy for myself) and then I am ready to begin her scrapbook.  I am hoping to spend some of Labor Day weekend focused on this creative activity.

All in all - it has been a good weekend - and I look forward to my last week of summer.

What does the month of August look like for you?


  1. Molly,

    I like your weekly meal plan. I need to do that, as I just wing it and it's not working very well, as we end up going out to eat about 3x a week and that gets expensive.

  2. It sounds like you'll be busy! I think your menu plan sounds great - I wish I was that organized.

  3. I think you will find that meal planning will make your life so much easier! I have to do this, and will be relying heavily on the crock pot from now through October because of football (5 days a week, 5pm to 7pm!). I can't wait to see your pictures. So far they have all been so professional looking.

  4. Here we go, counting down until school starts! :) The zoo is always so much fun.

    I have to meal plan during the school year, and I like yours. My issue, since I'm single, is that I have to plan meals that I can make it bulk and then divide up. The next problem is that I get SICK and tired of them. The only think I have been able to do is to cook a big meal on Sundays, and then take that for my lunch several times during the week, allowing myself a salad or sandwich to break things up. Then I make another meal first of the week that I can finish off the week with. Isn't that funny though? I get SO sick and tired of my own cooking though, that I inevitably go grab Mexican, Thai, or Chinese food by end of week. At least that will last a couple of meals too! :)

    Sorry, I didn't mean to get long-winded in my "meal planning," but you had me thinking out loud and being more aware of what I actually do.


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