Monthly Goals – July 2012 Recap
When you read this, you might note that I didn’t get many of my monthly goals for July completed. But I accomplished a ton of unlisted objectives that needed doing (some expected, some not). I improved this website dramatically (probably the biggest accomplishment). I restored a dining set. Cat finally visited Toronto with my partner and I. We did a lot of home maintenance (post forthcoming). I even did my first-ever guest post. Don’t worry, I’m not done with the excuses…
1. Get the dent in my car fixed
As you all know, my car’s passenger side front fender was dented. I ordered a part for the job (an inner fender well) only to have the wrecker order the part for the wrong side. I got the money for the part reimbursed (another reason to buy things on credit card) but that took some time. Then one day in July, when my girlfriend was in a store running errands, a white car scraped the driver’s side fender. So each fender is dented and scratched (lol). I’d hate to see that poor white car’s new look :S Immediately, the “dent fix” monthly goal doubled in size and my appetite to do it was cut in half. Either the universe wants my Malibu’s fenders to be dented or it wants me to become an auto body tech. First world problems, I know.
2. Save $2500
3. Go through the accordian folder and finish sorting the kids’ clothes/books/toys
My partner’s parents are moving to Alberta (which is awesome for them!). Hence there’s been a large volume of new items coming into the house in June and July that I didn’t plan on in May (again, first world problems). We worked on this goal (or, perhaps, the overall goal of “downsizing” unessential stuff and treasuring the things that we do keep). For example, I cleaned and repaired the huge dining room set we were given this month. July’s new stuff is now sorted. We got some things out the door. It’s just not done yet.
On a side note: I’m really glad that when we moved into the house we established the living room as a kind of “staging area”. We packed almost everything into that room and then sorted, cleaned, and moved things to their final locations. We’ve been able to downsize a ton; a central room has made this much easier. It also prevented the rest of the house from looking like a war zone (well, at least after a few cleanings). I think it improves the feng shui of clutter if you hide it all in one room. We’re working through it. Assuming no other relatives stage large moves this month, I think it may finally be our time to shine.
4. Get my passport renewed, and get a passport for Catherine
I filled out Cat’s form. We called up Black’s, Wal-Mart, and the local grocery store with a portrait studio to get quotes on passport pictures. Black’s was well over $20 a person which is, in my opinion, egregious. The local grocery store apparently doesn’t do passport photos anymore. Wal-Mart’s portrait studio didn’t pick up their phone. When we went into Peterborough to do our weekly errands, we stopped by Wal-Mart’s portrait studio since we were there anyway. They wanted $20 a person or $40 plus tax. Jaw-drop. I’m not a model and I don’t expect glamour shots. I know that I will look fat, ugly, and pasty in my passport photo. But there is no way in hell I am paying more than $10 a head. We’ll keep the forms and I’ll try to figure out how to get cheaper photos (maybe on a Toronto trip?).
My cold near the start of the month initially derailed this. When I felt better, I started walking again. I feel like I’ve achieved a sufficient and sustainable level of walking (barring bad events like another summer cold or throwing out my back again).
6. Deal with basement moisture
I got a 25-pint Danby dehumidifier on sale at Home Depot for $129.99 and the basement moisture dropped immensely. Unfortunately, there is still an issue (not as bad but it’s still a problem) that I’m now certain is related to the brine tank (part of a well’s filtration system). In August I’ll contact the plumber again.
7. Setup a patio or get a couch
We now have an extremely nice patio set. There are a couple very small rust spots; I’m tempted to add some Tremclad. Maybe I should just sand them and spray on clear lacquer to save myself from another spray-paint debacle.
I didn’t get a couch. Since we got the dining room set, we moved the older kitchen chairs into the living room. Bye folding card table chairs!
Monthly Goals for August 2012:
1. Fix both dents/scratches on my car
I really don’t want to talk about it anymore. If the car gets hit again I am seriously going to pretend that I didn’t set this goal.
2. Pressure wash house
So as I alluded earlier, I’ve been doing lots of work on this lovely old farmhouse. Fixing door handles, re-installed a toilet paper holder that wasn’t actually attached to the wall, committed war crimes against insects with Ortho Home Defense, etc. The house’s siding, particularly at the front, really needs a good washing. I’ve now got a borrowed pressure washer and cleaning fluid. I need to research how to pressure wash properly (I’ve heard you can damage siding and kill flowers if you do it wrong). Then I’ll pick a lovely day and do it.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables
For the last few months, my only real “health” goal (in the wasteland of my monthly goals) has been to go for a walk on most non-rainy days. In July, I finally reached a threshold that I considered acceptable for this goal. I’ll keep doing it, but if I slack, I’ll make it a goal again (educated guess: it’ll get a lot harder when the snow comes).
As for a new health goal, I want to eat more fruits and vegetables. I used to eat, at minimum, carrots and a piece of fruit every day for lunch. I also had fruit juice in the morning and often a vegetable with dinner. Not ideal, but not exactly food desert fare either. Lately, I’ve slacked off even further. Every day I eat some fruit (oddly, on the day that I wrote this article I ate a kiwi, a large serving of blueberries, and a peach for breakfast) but some days I’ve gone without eating a vegetable (other days I’ve only eaten a sketchy starch vegetable like corn or potato). Anyway, my goal will be to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables a day (most days). I could set a ton of other monthly goals to improve my health, but I’ll bet that setting one at a time will yield greater success.
4. Get a couch
This is even less of a priority than it was for the last monthly goals, because we now have a nice dining table and a patio set. But I’d still like to have a couch to
snuggle up on when I watch exasperatingly boring romantic comedies with my girlfriend beach out on with Lunchables and a can of Amp when I play Halo: Reach. Can I buy this one? It’s just kind of a fun goal that keeps me focused on conscious spending, even if I don’t complete it. We could fit a couch in the room right now but, as somebody who hates clutter with a passion, this will give us even more impetus to clear the living room. Speaking of which…
5. Finish clearing the living room (this includes the legendary accordion file and the remnants of extra kids stuff)
I gave myself another “pass” on this for July because we acquired more things. Now that we’ve stopped taking on water I hope we can actually get ahead on this task.
6. Save $2500
It’s important to do this again in August and September. My income will drop in late September which will make it harder to save a lot from October onward.
7. See The Dark Knight in theater.
Since HollyWood was born, I’ve only spent a few hours away from her at the most, and either my partner or I have been with her constantly. We have generous offers from family and friends to take care of her for a few hours, so in August I’d like to take somebody up on that to go see The Dark Knight. I’m not a huge Batman fanatic or anything, but I enjoyed seeing the other two movies in theater and I doubt my partner or I will be disappointed. Cheap night (Tuesday around these parts) will be a nice mini-vacation. Out of all of my monthly goals, this should be the easiest to achieve since it involves me not doing work.