the fourth week of October

This week’s theme: Creeping Up Appearances

It occurred to me that it might be fun to talk to myself while I’m planning and let you eavesdrop on the conversation: I’ll share each week’s Big List, the week I hope to have.

10.23.22 – 10.29.22

  • 23rd – Colts football game
  • 29th – Peanut Butter Hand day*
  • 29th – Lucinda Williams’ Tom Petty tribute album (2021)
  • Trunk or Treat

* Peanut Butter Hand day – a Fleck family holiday, based on a memory of one of my children who, as a toddler, once said to their peanut butter covered hand, “don’t do it hand, don’t wipe it on you’s shirt” and their hand puppet talked back, “but I really, really want to!” If you don’t have some silly personal holidays, can I encourage you to invent some? No need to be elaborate, just observe the anniversary of something that brings you joy.

First things first …

  • What is essential?
  • What is “extra” that I can edit?
  • What do I need help with?
  • What can I delegate?
  • Are there any shortcuts or compromises that will still work? We’re after joy and accomplishment, not perfection here.

I plan to be kind of a couch potato in the evenings, putting up my feet and knitting along to …

  • Toy Story of Terror
  • Halloween Baking Championship
  • Halloween Wars
  • Outrageous Pumpkins
  • Halloween Cookie Challenge
  • Monster House
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Arthur’s Halloween (PBS Kids)
  • The Addams Family
  • Corpse Bride
  • Mickey Mouse “The Scariest Story”
  • The Frasier Halloween episodes:
    • 5:3 Halloween
    • 9:6 Room Full of Heroes
    • 10:5 Tales From the Crypt

This is a good time of year to bookmark the Christmas TV Schedule site, if you haven’t already.

The Big List

To Do / Enjoy / Remember:

  • Pay Day is this week:
    • Budget by paycheck
    • Stuff cash envelopes
  • Final touches on Halloween costumes
  • Finish decorating inside for Halloween
  • Decorate outside for Halloween
  • Rake leaves, yard work
  • Cut back perennials for winter
  • Create leaf art with the kids
  • Bake Halloween cookies
  • Drive around town and look at Halloween decorations
  • Winterize the house, seal up windows
  • Living room:
    • Move furniture and thoroughly vacuum
    • Use attachments and vacuum living room furniture
    • Polish wood furniture
    • Clean surfaces and bookshelves
    • Clean all glass, mirrors, picture frames, windows, etc.
  • Work on holiday cards
  • Buy Halloween trick or treats
  • Fill Halloween treat bags
  • Purchase some Christmas gifts
  • Mail J a birthday card
  • Update Roku screensaver – I use family photos
  • Write out November schedule for the kids’ sports and clubs
  • Vote (early voting in my state has begun)

I want to make sure to give credit where it is due and cite my main influences:

  • Martha Stewart, specifically the monthly calendars that were in her magazine (no longer in print).
  • Cynthia Ewer’s Organized Home, which she has retired.
  • Alison May’s Brocante Home.
  • Frasier. Yes, the television show from the 1990s. You laugh, but it’s true.

I have my routines and rituals in a file I call The Big List. Compiled from years of calendars and To Do lists, it is a list of what I want to remember, celebrate, and accomplish. Arranged weekly, I print out The Big List and carry it around the house on a clipboard, checking things off as I go. 

From cleaning routines to celebrity birthdays to my obsession with listening to records from our vinyl collection on the date they were released, The Big List is the things I want to do, observe, and spend my time on in any given week.