Oh Yeah, It’s Monday

It’s just one of those days.

When I pulled out of my garage and drove the three blocks to my subdivision’s swimming pool I was able to get annoyed twice. I am not even sure how that’s possible. A car pulling out of their driveway and not looking forced me to come to a complete stop. And at the stop sign me and another car arrived facing each other at exactly the same moment. I had my indicator on waiting for them. THEN they turned on their turn signal.

Not a great way to start a Monday at 6:30 in the damn morning.

I overslept too.

Normally I’m up by 5:30 so I have time to make my coffee and do other little things around the house before I go and spend 150 minutes in water aerobics. Today I had barely enough time to lather up on sunscreen.

And suddenly we are heading towards the end of July.

Which means summer is almost over.


In a few weeks I will be registering the two kids at high school and then summer will really be over and yet there is SO MUCH left to do this summer.

You know, those crazy ass things I had on my list.

Like read 35 history books. So far, I’ve read four.

And defrost my big freezer (fat chance, that sucker was just restocked with a ton of meat on sale). And scrapbook more. And finish editing my L.A. novel (I am ALMOST finished with it. Another twenty or so chapters and then it will only need…hopefully…some line editing and fine-tuning). And get the freezer full (after I defrost the sucker, of course) of freezer meals for those busy days/nights when I will be coming home from school right around the dinner hour. And read a handful of classics.

Right now I am a mixture of exhaustion and a dash of overwhelmed. I’ve got a kid laid up after foot surgery (and I suddenly have to drive him everywhere. Super fun, let me tell you). I’ve got another kid getting ready to take driver’s education and hopefully between now and school starting a car will be in his future. I’ve got school books to read, ASL videos to watch so I can try and have a miniscule leg up, and novels to read before I may not have as much time for fiction. I’ve got dentist appointments, a floor that needs refinishing and would require us to be out of the house for three days, and a garden to tend to. I’ve got a non-fiction book I’m trying to self-publish and another novel I am trying to rewrite/edit. I’ve got an aggressive swim exercise routine seven days a week I go to. And I’ve got to keep the fire burning on a potential job search that could move us yet again somewhere else.

Okay, for now I’m going to manage to walk down the hall and drink more coffee and rewrite another chapter when what I really want to do is pipe my coffee intravenously as I take a nap under the fan. Oh, hello Monday, you bastard.


What I’ve Learned Over The Summer

I hate that unofficially summer is over.


The mornings are now very chilly. And while I love fall and all that I always feel a little sad to say goodbye to the warm days, daily gardening, and lazy afternoons.

Here is a quick list of what I learned over the summer.

1. I love when I wake up in the mornings and by 7am it is already getting warm. I walked every morning with a friend and if we were any later than 8am to get started, we were dying of heat. In a flash with the first ring of the school bell the mornings are now magically more cold. Damn.

2. I wish summer vacation lasted longer. This year I was at an immediate disadvantage because I was sick with bronchitis for at least half of summer. I love not worrying about homework and waking up early (even though I woke up early to go walking). I love lazy days and quick, easy meals, and sunsets near 10pm.

3. I don’t know what I would do without my garden, I love it so much. I wonder about this when we one day downsize and perhaps I don’t have the large vegetable garden I am afforded right now. And even though come mid-fall I am ready to pull whatever is left out (it becomes a tad bit overwhelming when the harvest is overflowing) I do look forward to spring every year. I love planting new things, I love eating fresh vegetables ALL SUMMER LONG. I love going out there in the early mornings and watering as the sun is starting to come up – so quiet and peaceful.

4. We don’t use the barbecue enough. We always say we are going to BBQ like crazy and then somehow and for whatever reason we seldom use the thing.

5. I always think I’m going to get more done over the summertime. Why is that? I mean, during the school year the kids are out of the house and IN school. Hello. Duh. During the summer the only thing working for me is that a) the weather is warm; and b) I don’t have to look at the clock all day. Even though my kids are older they still knock on my office door all day long asking for everything from “what is there to eat for lunch?” to “do you know where the pool towels are?”

6. Unlike people who don’t have air conditioners (my mom, for instance, lives on the beach in southern California and doesn’t have air conditioning in her house) and have to endure a heat wave or worse, a heat wave WITH humidity and have NO air conditioning (shoot me now) – it doesn’t matter to me whether I decide to cook ribs in the house or bake a cake because the oven doesn’t heat up a house with air conditioning. In fact, you hardly notice the heat from the oven at all.

7. I may “save” time every night from making the kids lunches but it is way worse because every afternoon the kids want lunch and they somehow never eat the types of lunches they eat all school year. Suddenly sandwiches, crackers, and fruit is not good enough. Oh brother.

8. As much as I love all that summer offers, I am a winter girl at heart.

9. I can never get enough of summer fruits and vegetables. I can bathe in a mixture of berries and peaches and live happily ever after.

10. My favorite place to be is sitting outside enjoying a quiet moment on my patio, admiring the yard, looking out at my garden, and loving the gorgeous Idaho skies.

The Goal Of Summer

With the onset of summer vacation sweeping the nation I have noticed a theme.

Long summertime goals.

Look, I’m a fan of lists and goals and if you have been reading my posts for awhile (back in my Typepad days) you know that I am all about organization, goals, and to-do lists. In fact, I’m staring at a general list tacked to my bulletin board at this very moment. And in years past I used to organize our summer weeks into themes with daily crafts and reading charts. I used to think that summer was the perfect time to get all kinds of things completed – maybe it is the absence of school projects and homework along with nice sunny days that spark that concept…but in reality summer hits and everyone is home, bored, and under foot and the weather is so hot I just want to – sit.

This year I have zero interest in any of the plans.

I have a friend on Facebook who posted the five hundred things they hope to do this summer. Things like, “go to Las Vegas”; “host a swim party”; “roast marshmallows”; “go to Disneyland”; “go to SeaWorld”; “go camping”; “have a water balloon fight”; and so on and so on. Another friend tells me that everyday she has a list of projects she hopes to complete before dinner.

Ohmygawd, no.

This summer has taken on a new meaning for me.


I don’t even have a list.

Not a formal list, anyway.

My “list” is simple:

Exercise daily. In fact, every morning I am walking between 3 and 4 miles before breakfast.
Water and tend my garden.
Straighten the house, maybe throw a load of laundry in the washer.
Plan a simple dinner.
Work in the office (writing, research, etc.).
Read and other hobbies (quilt, mosaic projects).
And by late summer: deal with ALL the harvest as it comes in (freezing sauce, pesto, and meals).

That’s it.

We are planning one trip to the Oregon coast for my oldest son’s graduation from culinary school. And I have a friend from San Diego flying up for a weekend in July to visit.


If I get into the shed and maybe go through some boxes, great. If I can get my recipes thinned out and organized, super. If I manage to take the kids one day to the water park, splendid. Otherwise: do whatever. There is a pool, plenty of books around, televisions in every room – find something to do – even if that means doing nothing whatsoever and disconnecting for a couple of hot months. I don’t know about all of you but by the end of the school year I need a break from it all and I love the notion of lazy summers. Reminds me of growing up in Los Angeles with our air conditioning running at full speed, smoggy afternoons, cold watermelon, swimming at my uncle’s pool with friends, reading a lot of books, riding bikes around the neighborhood with my cousin as we tried to sell lemons off my tree, and taking a nap on the couch.

My only goal for this summer is to keep it all simple.