We started on our home renovation this week!!! We will be putting an addition on our new-to-us house. We've been thinking and planning for this project since last summer, so to see it actually started is pretty cool. First, we have to tear off part of the old part. When we planned the renovation, I told Hubs I didn't want to see the old chimney go. I don't know, there's just something cool about an old chimney, even if it's not functional. Well, we made a compromise; we're tearing the chimney down, but I'm keeping some of the bricks to make something with. I think it will probably end up being a raised bed or fire pit in the back yard.
Several weeks ago I implemented a new scheduling system that I learned about on Youtube. It's called "block scheduling". Basically, you give every hour a purpose. Then you do that thing for an hour, and when the clock strikes a new hour, you move on to the next project. Here's an example of my summer schedule:
7:00 am- Wake up
8:00 am- Free
9:00 am- Daughter awake, dressed, breakfast
10:00 am- Chicken chores/House project
11:00 am- House project/cooking
12:00 pm- Read w/daughter, Lunch
1:00 pm- Weed strawberries
2:00 pm- Daughter nap, more weeding
3:00 pm- Projects
4:00 pm- Projects
5:00 pm- Projects
6:00 pm- Dinner
7:00 pm- Wash dishes
8:00 pm- Free
9:00 pm Prepare for bed (plan tomorrow's meals and events, pick up house, set out clothes, brush teeth, etc.)
10:00 pm- Read
11:00 pm- Fall asleep
Of course we don't follow this to a T, but it gives enough structure to help me be more productive. It also helps because it keeps daily chores like laundry, cooking and cleaning "contained" to certain hours. For example, I try to do a whole day's cooking, if possible, before lunch. When that hour is up, it's up and I move on to other things. There is always more cooking I can do, always more cleaning. During the summer, though, I really need to stay focused on outdoor projects. If the strawberry patch or garden gets out of hand, it's a nightmare to deal with. By doing at least an hour's work in the garden/strawberry patch, I can keep that functional. The same goes for household tasks like laundry and dishes.
Another thing I did was make a "Do Not Do" list for summer. You guys know I love projects, and my interests are all over the map. Sometimes I just have to tell myself "no". No knitting or sewing during the summer. No extensive research projects or reading. No excessive blogging (which is why you're getting mostly pictures now). No working on book projects. No extra cooking from scratch or decluttering. Spending more money on food has really helped pare down housework during this busy season, as well as using the clothes dryer and disposable diapers. It's not necessarily frugal, but it's only for a few months. Once we're settled into the new house, I look forward to having more regular, garden-variety frugal accomplishments again.
But I Broke My Own Rules
I broke my own "no excessive reading" rule this week, though. I ordered a rare book from the library, and it came!!! It's a collection of annotated Civil War letters written by a soldier who lived down the road from us. The author/compiler really did her research, and the back of the book has family sheets and extensive indexes so you can figure out who's who and even what happened to them after the war. I already knew who several of the people were from my own research, but reading the letters answered some questions I had, and really gave me an idea of what the culture in our area was like. If I could pick a super power, it would be time travel... and this is the next best thing.
Anyhow, so that was probably the highlight of my week.
We had new internet installed at our house, and the company was doing a promotion. They gave us a free Amazon Echo Dot. I know, I know, these devices spy on you and listen to your every word in order to sell you more stuff (or so the conspiracy theorists say). But I installed ours, and found out that it can read my Kindle books aloud!!!! That means it can turn all of my free Kindle ebooks into (albeit low-quality) audio books that I can listen to while doing projects, cooking or cleaning. That means I can do excessive "reading" without sacrificing productivity!
Hey, so there was something frugal this week after all! I went to some garage sales and bought a few things... mostly for Princess. But I also got a book for myself:
Til next time,