Top Ten Things to Do in August

It’s time to harvest the seeds from your heirloom tomatoes, dry them and store them in a dry place for planting seedling next spring. It’s also time to can or pickle all the cucumbers and beans in the garden and prepare to stock the pantry for the winter months.
This late summer task makes me feel like a little girl again in the kitchen with my grandmothers and at the same time a big bear preparing my nest for the fall.

Go through the children’s closets and check that smaller clothes fit for school. Purchase new uniforms online if necessary and donate used gently worn clothes to family or local shelters. Uniforms are uniforms, I have found and as James Edward has outgrown his they fall to the next one in line that fits into them. This also needs to be done with parkas, tennis and sports uniforms if that applies to your family.

It’s time to book yourself and the children for haircuts and dentist appointments. I always book these appointments as a group so as to save time and get everyone done and checked off the list!

On my nightside table now is Lee Gutkind’s “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” about writing creative nonfiction, which has been my genre for years, and Lauren Collins “The Best American Travel Writing 2017,” a refreshing collection of journey goers like me who are also writers and feel it necessary to comment on what we have seen and done. My hat tips to the late and already very missed Anthony Bourdain who was, amongst us writers, a great traveling one indeed.

Take the children to the museum to see Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age which is on exhibition until September 16th. If you have a little artist or architect in your midst they will dig it for sure!

On the cleaning front it’s time to pull the refrigerator and freezer away from the wall and vacuum the coils and sweep and mop underneath and behind those large appliances.

Prepare a beautiful meal with an antipasto platter poolside for your family to gnash. Add a few steaks and fish to the grill and a pot of couscous with sweet summer corn on the cob and finish with my fudge brownies a la mode!

With school starting back and a routine to be kept it might be a good idea to enroll yourself in a group program that you’ll enjoy. Give yourself a semester of it so you don’t feel like you have bitten of too much. If you’re like me, exercise is a dirty word so if I gotta sweat it has to be doing something I like and I don’t like doing the same thing for very long either so approaching this that way has helped make it a habit in my already busy and don’t care about exercising kinda life!

Book a day date with your spouse and go to lunch and then either antiquing or over to get mani’s and pedi’s. Time sent hanging with him or her is QT and will continue to build your relationship. Remember Marriages are made strong through hard work and attention.

As always remember to place those electronics in that basket by the stairs and have no tolerance texting zone during family dinners. Sit with your children on a simple Sunday afternoon and ask them what they think about …. use a topic from this week’s news or a more old worldly one…like their take on the existence of God. You never know what they’ll say or how they will change you by exposing you to their perspective. This also gives you a place to get very close to your children and parent them. They are grown and gone too fast not to!

Auntie A’s Fudge Brownies A la Mode

You will need:

– 1 box Ghiradelli fudge brownie mix
– eggs & oil (as called for by the brownie mix)
– 1 heaping half cup (6 oz) Cookies & Cream ice cream
– 1/4 Cup hot fudge topping (chilled or room temp) I like the thick one
– 16 Oreos


Preheat oven & spray an 8×8 baking dish generously with cooking spray. Combine brownie mix, eggs, and oil as directed on the back of the box, but do not add the water. Add ice cream and hot fudge to the brownie batter and stir to combine. Pour half of the brownie batter into the baking dish, layer with Oreos, then top with remaining batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes or as directed on the back of the box.
Take Care of YOU!