August 2020 Highlights

I’m very happy to say goodbye to August and hello to September. Hello Fall! I’ve been writing these monthly highlight posts to wrap up each month. So much of what I do each day is immediately undone — cleaning, cooking, putting away laundry –it all needs to be done again every day and it can feel like I do nothing. But there are so many little things I tuck into the corners of each day for myself that can so easily get lost in the shuffle. And that’s what these posts are about!

Tomorrow I will link up with Ginny at Small Things for her monthly Yarn Along link up. On the first Wednesday of every month she hosts a gathering of knitters and readers. And I’ll share this post with Anne Bogel at the Modern Mrs. Darcy on the 15th, which is when she’ll host QuickLit, a gathering of bloggers who share what they’ve been reading lately.

Favorite Books

I finished reading 8 books in August. That’s less than my average month, but I have felt fully sated, which is odd. Typically I crave more, more, more books but this month I’ve thoroughly enjoyed nearly everything I’ve read and felt like I struck a good balance with reading and life. That doesn’t happen too often! I’m very pleased with this month’s reading achievements, which has made it difficult to narrow down my selection to just three favorites this month.

I started The Splendid and The Vile in May but quickly realized that I’d need to finish this on audio. And it was such a good switch! This was an incredible look at Winston Churchill during one year of WWII – May 1940 through May 1941. It was thorough and included excerpts from diaries and letters from his family, the people who worked with him at 10 Downing Street, the diaries of every day civilians living in the UK, and diaries and letters from German military officials. It was so fascinating. (Bonus points if you read this simultaneously with The Diary of a Young Girl.)

Braiding Sweetgrass was phenomenal! If you’re looking for a book of essays by a woman steeped in both Indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge, then look no further! Robin Wall Kimmerer is a poet, botanist, and Indigenous woman who has been observing and learning about the natural world her entire life. It’s full of wisdom and love for nature.

I usually save 5 stars for books that alter the way I see the world, but I decided to give Mexican Gothic a full five stars! It was the best example of a gothic novel I’ve ever read! And setting it in Mexico was the perfect twist to breathe new life into the genre. This was dark, twisted, and creepy. If you watched and loved The Skeleton Key, then you’re gonna love this book! It’s the perfect way to kick off the Halloween season. I haven’t even blogged about this one yet, but expect an update from me tomorrow for my weekly Unraveled post.

Don’t forget that you can always peek at my 2020 Reading Log. I use Google Sheets to track all sorts of variables and I love that I can embed a copy to share with you all!

Phenology Wheel

Inner ring to outer: sunrise; sunset; low/high temperature; weather; phase of the moon; day of the month

I’m happy to have finished another Phenology Wheel this month! We spent most of the month witnessing the life cycles of butterflies, so that’s what I’ve focused on with this month’s wheel. Phenology is simply the study of the world around you and this wheel tracks the sunrise time, sunset time, low/high temperatures, daily weather, and the phases of the moon. I also practice my (very poor) drawing skills by illustrating some of the nature we’ve seen throughout the month! August was full of yellows and greens and I tried to convey that with my wheel this month.

Every year I’m amazed by how quickly the day shortens — and it’s so clear right now! If my math is correct (which is questionable), August 31st was 1 hour and 18 minutes shorter than August 1st. Isn’t that incredible?

I’ve been debating whether to do a phenology wheel in September because it is so much work to set them up each month. But once set up, it’s fairly easy to keep up with it, even if I sit down with it only once a week. So I think I will do one for September and see what nature brings!

Materials Used: Sketchbook | Compass & Protractor set | Staedtler Pens | Water Soluble Colored Pencils | Watercolors

Habit Tracking

I share my habit tracker every Monday morning, mostly as a way to keep myself accountable to my goals. Spending a little time writing about the habits I’m working to strengthen keeps them in the forefront of my mind, plus I get tons of ideas and inspiration from other bloggers who comment and make suggestions!

This month I’ve been trying to eliminate ordering takeout and getting fast food! Of course, my habit tracker is the best way to monitor my behaviors and plan for the week.

Materials Used for habit tracking: Trifolio Scoop Notebook Cover from Sojourner USA | Hobonichi Weeks | Pilot G-Tec-C Gel Pens Hyper Fine Point | Alternate Notebook if you’re looking for an undated version: Standard Size TN Grid Insert


I sewed a skirt this month! Which I’d literally forgotten about until I started going through this month’s pictures. The pattern is the Rae Skirt from Sewaholic and is considered a “true beginner” pattern. Your mileage may vary – mine certainly did! I’ve made several of these skirts and still struggle with understanding it. But I did add pockets this time!

I started a Spark cardigan this month and have somehow made tremendous progress with it. I was worried that the all-over colorwork would be difficult to manage, but I quickly found a rhythm and I’ve been addicted to working on this!

Morning Pages

I’ve continued my daily journaling streak and wrote one page every day in August! As of publishing today’s post, my daily journaling streak is 149 days straight! I enjoy filming these simple videos each month because I love flipping through my journal and seeing page after page full of writing. I never thought I’d be a person who could fill up notebooks like this, but here I am!

Pictures from August

August has been full of caterpillars and butterflies, books, dirt, and messes. Would you have it any other way? Stay at home life suits us well. We’ve fallen into a steady rhythm that I love and seems to be life giving to my children as well. We spend several hours outside every morning. We Do School at some point – and lately that’s been outside. We take time to care for our chickens and bunnies every day. We read all day. We draw, paint, and color throughout the day. We make huge messes and then tidy them up, only to end up with another huge mess. Life is steady. Goodbye August. I’m looking forward to seeing what September brings us!


27 thoughts on “August 2020 Highlights

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  1. What a great wrap-up … I can really see summer transitioning to fall in your photos and the phenology wheel (and your knitting :-)! It still feels very much like summer here, in spite of the much shorter days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. p.s. I meant to comment on Mexican Gothic – it’s not at all my genre, but a solid recommendation from you AND Anne Bogel … maybe I need to try it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really, really love your phenology wheel, and I think you need to stop being so hard on yourself about your drawing skills! This is a page I would honestly frame and hang up somewhere!

    It sounds like the whole family is settling into a really good rhythm of learning, whether it’s officially school stuff or just learning to be a member of the family who helps to take care of the household.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That wheel is amazing! I was thinking it would be fun to take your month end reflections and turn them into a photo book. What a beautiful record of your life. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a wonderful month you had! KUDOS to the weather overview, I totally believe that it is a lot of work! Wow. Congratulations on feeding the Corgi fund (is there a goal? Do you know how much far you have to go? (you don’t have to share that here, of course)). And I totally love your skirt! It looks great on you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to seeing your September. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      1. oh gah. :/ I’m sorry about that. (BEAGLES on the other hand … ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) . Nahh, but still. It’s great that you could save up and if the money goes into yarn, that’s awesome, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice post! you read so many books! I am happy if I finish one or two. I need to up my reading game. I like the wheel you drew. It does look like a lot of work went into it. Very nice and the habit tracker is great too. I try to track some habits I want to change and improve and it works so well when you do it daily like you do. Hope you have a good September!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lisa! I’m sure there’s no need to up your reading game – as long as you’re enjoying what you’re reading then I’m sure you’re doing just fine! Thanks for all of your kind words — here’s to September ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. The Splendid and the Vile was amazing – I hope it you love it! I will say that it helped to listen to it on audio. I also listened to Braiding Sweetgrass on audio – it’s read by the author, which deepened the experience. Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great month of reading – Braiding Sweetgrass sounds fantastic – thanks for the review. I’m really looking forward to reading Mexican Gothic – especially after your review.
    Hereโ€™s what my family & I read most recently this month including โ€œThe Shell Seekersโ€, โ€œWhen No One is Watchingโ€, โ€œA Darkling Plainโ€ and back to school books for my kiddos

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lis! You’re the second person who has mentioned The Shell Sheekers to me in my comments today – I think this needs to go on my library list. Thanks for the recommendation and for the your link ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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