Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mid-October Wednesday

Autumn Garland, at Cost Plus World Market

We're halfway through the month. Only a couple more weeks until Halloween!

Have you decorated your home for fall yet? Is there an autumn wreath on your door, a fall welcome mat on the front steps, pumpkins and squash on your mantel or your front porch? Orange, cranberry, brown, black or dark green candles around your home?


  • Pay any mid-month bills coming due

  • Need to order any stamps online? You'll need them if you pay bills via check, and for upcoming holiday cards and newsletters you'll send out.

  • Do you have a flashlight in your car, by your bed, in the garage, and in your kitchen? Do they have fresh batteries, and have you tested the flashlights at night to be sure they still work? Do you have a flashlight on every floor of your home? In the living room in case the power goes out while you're sitting watching TV? Test ALL of your flashlights tonight in the dark and see if the batteries need replacing. Is the light bright enough to actually see? Can you get ahold of the flashlight easily if it's pitch black in the room?

  • Put out any remaining Halloween or fall decorations you haven't gotten around to yet. I've been lazy to put out my Halloween lights, but I'll do that tonight, even though it's raining!

  • Finalize Thanksgiving travel plans, book airline tickets if you haven't already, or finish inviting guests if you are hosting. People need to be reassured they have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving, so if you're hosting, please invite people as soon as possible so they can anticipate next month's holiday.

  • Look over the next two weeks. Can you build in time for socializing, alone time, quiet nights at home, exercise, nightly walks, pet care, special time with your kids, special time with your significant other?

  • Take inventory of laundry detergent, dryer sheets, bleach and other laundry supplies. Throw out anything you don't actually use (a bleach pen? starch? baby detergent for your baby who is now a kid? Swimsuit or hosiery cleaner you never actually use?)

TODAY'S PROJECT: Medicine Cabinet

Be sure you are stocked for winter colds, flus and other maladies. Today I'm removing everything from both medicine cabinets in my house, cleaning and dusting the shelves, checking expiration dates, and organizing the medicine. Later today I'll go shopping at a drugstore or Target for things I might need this season.

EXPIRATION DATES: I'll carefully check expiration dates and throw out anything outdated. I have a hard time "decluttering" when it comes to up-to-date medicines, because I want to be sure I have something on hand to solve every possible problem. But I don't have a problem throwing out anything I'm unsure of the expiration date on!

STOCKING UP: Do you have headache remedies, sinus remedies, fever remedies, cold/flu medicine (both liquid and capsule form), anti-diarrhea medicine, something for upset stomachs, something for gas and/or acid heartburn, sore throat and cough lozenges, and something just for coughs? Do you have aspirin AND ibuprofen, both Tylenol AND Advil? Any Benadryl on hand in case of allergic reactions? Do you have the good kind of Sudafed if your family tends to get congestion in the ears?

If you have children, do you have children's medicines (or have you read the recent warnings against giving cold medicine to children under 4?) How about Vicks VapoRub?

OTHER SUPPLIES: Outside of the medicine cabinet, do you have plenty of Kleenex/Puffs, more than one box? Do you have crackers, bouillon cubes, chicken noodle soup (or vegetarian alternative), several kinds of bottled juice, graham crackers, and other foods for sick people?

Also, do you have a good supply of hot water bottles/packs, coldpacks, bandaids, gauze, and other first aid and comfort supplies?

If you unfortunately develop an extended period of illness where you aren't able or feeling up to to going to the store, do you have plenty of toilet paper, pet food, laundry detergent and other supplies you might not be able to go out and get for yourself? (Hopefully you have a supportive network of friends who would shop for you in emergencies too!)

Let's hope nobody gets sick and you won't need it, but it's better to be prepared.

TRAVEL: How well are you stocked when you travel? It seems the older I get, the more just-in-case medicine I have to take with me. I put it in my checked luggage so I don't have to hassle with airport security and my carry-on. I almost never need access to medicines in-flight, but I've certainly gotten to my destination and really been glad I had diarrhea medicine or stomachache medicine with me so I didn't have to look for a drugstore in an unfamiliar city.

GUESTS: Do you keep medicines available in your guest bathroom too, so guests don't have to be embarrassed and come ASK you for diarrhea medicine?

SAFETY: Are your medicines stored out of the reach of children and pets?

LOVELY BLOGS: Eat, Live, Travel, Write

This blog is by an elementary school French teacher living in Toronto. I'm really enjoying reading her posts on cooking, food, wine, parties, events she attends and road trips she takes. Her food photography is wonderful and I love that she posts more than one photo per recipe she's sharing.

LOVELY TV: Private Chefs of Beverly Hills

I haven't gotten a chance to check out this show yet. I'm intrigued by the concept: The reality show follows six chefs hired from Big City Chefs, a private-chef placement agency in Beverly Hills.

I'm eager to see the "Seance Sautee" episode, but I think I can skip the Lorenzo Lamas show.

Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, at Food Network


Caramel Apples 6 Ways (Food Network)

DIY Halloween Disguises for Adults (Martha Stewart)

French Onion Soup With Porcini (Rachael Ray)

Lentil Soup (Food Network Canada)

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