Posts Tagged ‘summer’

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Foggy-Headed

August 17, 2011

Yeah, I’ve been quiet.

The girls have been in & out, but mostly out.  And work has remained slow.  Most of my peeps are out of town visiting this island or that country, or maybe some other part of this country.  I feel listless, and a little bit pointless.

Mouse has been at camp since last weekend – she comes home this Saturday.  I’m looking forward to seeing her, but it’s a little odd in that once she gets home, we have to go to the airport to pick up not only Lemon, but also the Ex.

Having him in town, or even intersecting with my life, is never my favorite. Lemon is with him now, and already, it’s impossible to speak to him without there being some sort of crossed wire or subtle dig.  It’s just not-fun.  I say, “Lemon had more stress than anticipated about flying alone, there were tears.  She’ll love a big hug on your end.”  His response, “I always hug them when they get off the plane.”  The assumption that everything *I* say is a subtle dig bothers me, too.  Because it’s not.

This past weekend, WD and I saw three movies.  Friday night, we saw Lincoln Lawyer, in our living room.  On Saturday, I went running and then met my running partner for a shopping outing, and while we were out, we realized we were both free that night.  So we thought “movie night!” All four of us (both couples) brainstormed movie choices.  We had every movie known to man on the list (in the theater).  Independent films, documentaries, etc.  Consensus could not be reached.  Where did we end up?  Captain America.  I was entertained, nonetheless.

Then on Sunday, WD and I brought Lemon to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Two days; two big dumb movies (as we refer to them).

My vacation is in 8 days.  I think I can tread water through this funk knowing that’s around the bend.  Then, school starts and life gets back to normal.  Hopefully, once the deadness of August in New England passes, work will pick up again after Labor Day, too.

And that’s all I’ve got for now.

Off for drinks with a colleague who is also bouncing off the walls.

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Summer Snippets

August 5, 2011

1)  Still running.  But my endurance isn’t building as quick as I’d expected.  I’m pushing myself more and more, but it would be easier if I were doing the Couch to 5K.  But since I run with a partner, I don’t see how I can make both things work at once.  On the good news front, though – my back pain seems to have resolved itself.  I am greatly relieved.

2)  True Blood.  For the past two years, I’ve watched Season 1 and then Season 2 of True Blood while the girls were in the Middle of the Country and WD was off at his writerly retreat-like-thingy.  This year, I didn’t get that solo time, and it’s been challenging to fit Sookie in, along with all the blood and the gore.  But I missed it, and so I had Netflix send the disks on over.  One day last week, I had a court hearing in the morning and expected it to go all day.  WD had jury duty in antoher town, and the girls were at their creative arts day camp until 7 p.m.  Well.  My hearing ended early!  I had driven out to the ‘burbs for this particular hearing, and so drove the car home and thought, “huh.  I think I’ll stay home.”

And I dug in to Season 3.

Every second that I find the house empty of children, I watch another episode.  If they come home before it’s over, I lock the living room door and turn the volume way down.  Because, seriously.  This show is insane!  Every time I think they’ve gone over the top, they go even further over the top.

And I’m addicted.

WD and I have one night and one day to ourselves between one kid’s departure and another’s return, and sadly, I’m more excited about the opportunity to watch True Blood than I am about the opportunity to have sex without worrying about the noise level.

3)  Kids’ Activities.

(a) Lemon’s been in Canada since Monday.  I can’t believe she’s coming home in a couple of days already.  I’ve been stalking her races via the internet.  So far she has one boat progressing to semi finals, and that’s later this afternoon.  She’s racing right now – this minute – and I’m excited to see if they make it to semi’s and then finals (exciting, meaning I’m on the results page:  refresh, refresh, refresh).  If they make it to finals, they’ll be coming home on Monday.  If not, they come home on Sunday.

(b) Mouse leaves for camp tomorrow.  Two weeks of sleep away camp. She’s excited, and mostly packed.  This week has been blissfully unscheduled for her.  Her summer has been a revolving door of various friends, due to camp schedules.  This week one of her nearest & dearests was back home after a month of travel, and it was nice for her to have nothing to do so she could hang with her and the others who just returned.  She is rarely lacking something to do and a crowd to do it with.  Although yesterday we forced her to stay home and clean her room and pack for camp.

WD and I are looking forward to the trip to camp.  Her camp is on Lake Winnipesaukee, and we will repeat our routine from last year, where we drove around the lake and made our way to the coast.  We will go to the beach, and I will hopefully swim some, and then we will go to the Home of the Awesome Lobster Roll that I discovered a couple of weeks ago.  Then we’ll go home and watch True Blood.  Or not.  😉

(c)  Lemon has her unscheduled week once she’s back from Canada.  When Mouse was our solo and unscheduled child this past week, we had a vegetarian extravaganza – since Mouse doesn’t eat meat, neither did we.  I wonder if that means that now that Lemon is home, we’ll have a Red Meat Extravaganza?  Ha.  In reality – I’m sure we won’t see her but for a moment here and there.

And there we are.  August is a bunch of little jigsaw puzzle pieces fitting together with relative grace.  The second half of the month has Lemon traveling to the Middle of the Country,  and then the Ex coming here to visit with Mouse, and then …

VACATION!

(But I think I’ve already said enough about that.)

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Vacation!!

August 1, 2011

I did it.  I booked a vacation.

Does anyone remember last year?  Remember my after-the-fact affair with fate ?

And this year, planning has continued to be difficult for me.  Partly because of work*, partly because of kids **, partly because of money (directly related to the kids’ summer plans).

But the more we talked about getting away that week, the more it came clear that the entire family wanted this.  We want a chance to chill, to get away, to rest.

We really only had one week that would work with the various camps and the potential visit from their father — the week before Labor Day.  And that is likely the week that fall crew starts for Lemon.  But she – on her own – spoke to her coach and said, “it’s the only week we can go on vacation, I just did summer crew right after spring  crew, I need to miss this week.”  He said fine.

I toyed for a little while with going away for a longer weekend over Labor Day.  This would mean somewhere local – the Cape or Maine, perhaps.  But Lemon in particular pouted.  “I don’t want to!  I want to go to North Carolina, like we were going to last year.”  I think we’ve done enough quick-trips in the easier-accessible places that it doesn’t feel special to them.

And from my end – if we did a longer weekend, we also wouldn’t be able to do a house.  We’d end up in a hotel or a motel.  And up here, Labor Day is the last of the summer, school-year wise, and comes with premium pricing.

But in the south, school starts in mid August (if not before), and so the week before Labor Day is practically off season.  Price-wise, it’s somewhere between peak and off-season.

Hotel in Bar Harbor, Maine for a few nights?  Probably $900.  House in the Outer Banks for a week?  $800.

Guess what we chose?

We looked at several houses.  For a while, I had my mouse hovering over a 2 bedroom home that was slightly removed from the beach. But it was very cute, and only $600.  But I hovered too long, and it was snatched up.  I started looking at a few in the $700 range, but couldn’t really pull the trigger.  WD was still away, and he’d said I could decide on my own, but I put it off until he got home.

Most of the houses in the area have wireless internet. But some do not.  As I was comparing the amenities for the various remaining options, I realized the most did not have internet.  How sad is it that I was having a hard time finding this as an okay situation?  Am I really that addicted?  I justified my issues by pointing to work.  “What if I need to log on?!”  WD wasn’t really disputing the desire for wireless.  (I mean, seriously.  He has FOUR blogs and a very active twitter account … clearly a wireless connection is not too low on his priority list.)

So we started to look closer at a house that was $800.

When I was seriously considering the $600 house, $800 seemed like a huge increase.  But once we were looking at $705 or $750, $800 seemed feasible.  Throw in an uptick in the decor/furnishings, a third bedroom so the kids don’t throttle each other, a shorter distance to the ocean, and WIRELESS, and it became a no-brainer.  I mean, look how pretty:

The living room/dining area – wide open spaces!

 

 

 

The view from the deck.

One of the many porches (one of them is screened in, and has a table).

And so, we are going.  We are driving down (12 hour road trip!  Yee ha!), and we will probably get a hotel/motel for a night on the way down.  We’ll explore the islands and towns thereon on our way down, and then will spend a quiet week in our pretty house mere yards away from the beach.  We’ll stroll for ice cream, maybe hit a clam shack here and there, perhaps catch a movie if we tire of the sun, or if it starts to rain.

And just when we’re starting to feel antsy – missing our friends, our cats, our own beds, we’ll load the car back up and come home in time for a flurry of back-to-school shopping, removal of Lemon’s braces, and school.

We have wanted this for a very, very long time.

Please join me in crossing fingers that a hurricane will not strike & force our evacuation!

 

 

 

* This year, it isn’t a trial.  It’s kind of the opposite.  Work has been slow enough that I am concerned about meeting my minimum billable hours.

** Lemon has fall crew, Mouse was trying to work out a time to see her father.

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Beach Day!

July 20, 2011

Today, it was time.  Time to stop whining that this summer isn’t fun, that I don’t have a vacation*, that I haven’t been to the beach.

My running-buddy and I started talking about our need for the beach a week or so ago.  We both had plans for the weekends in the foreseeable future, and we were bumming.

But then, I got smart.

“Let’s take a day off. Mid-week.  And go to the beach.  Without our kids.”

The lightbulb above both our heads glowed brightly, and we started to think about what would work best.

Today.  Today worked best.

I let everyone at work know that I’d have to be “off-site” today.  She told her employer that she needed to take a personal day.

We went for our usual 5:30 a.m. run.  Discreetly didn’t mention to our newly acquired 3rd runner that sunscreen and trashy novels were on our agenda for the day.

Lobster rolls, too.  Lobster rolls were added to the agenda as of yesterday.

She came and picked me up at 9 a.m.  I took a minute to make us both some iced coffee in my Keurig.  We loaded the car.

We had to make a couple stops:  As of last year, I cannot go to the beach without Sunchips.  She needed water.

We were at the beach by 10:30.
Landscape around Singing Beach in Manchester, MA.

[this was our beach of the day]

It was a little more crowded than that, but not by much.  Although the crowds grew as the day went on.

She had her Kindle, I had my brick of a paper-and-glue Gabaldon novel. [the iPad’s failing — I cannot bring it into the sand.]

We swam in the ocean. It wasn’t horribly cold, and it was nice and deep, and we chatted and tread water and swam in the depths where our feet couldn’t touch the ground.

I love being further into the ocean and facing away from the beach.  Watching the dark New England water rolling along – it’s bliss.

We left around 2.  I’d started to get a little nervous about sunburn, even though I was ridiculously vigilant about applying sunscreen.  [note foreshadowing.]

Then we went for our lobster rolls.

$19.95, and worth every penny.  The lobster was so yummy, and the flavor was perfect.  not too bland, not too fishy.  The roll was so buttery and perfectly toasted.  The fries were fresh and delicious.

On the drive home my knees turned a little red.

By the time I got home, my calves and shins were red.

I did not put sunblock from my knees down because they NEVER burn.  NEVER.

Oh – wait.  I did put sunscreen on my left shin, just below the knee.  I must have had extra on my hand and wiped it off.  Because there’s a perfectly-defined white hand print in the midst of all the red.  Nice going, Suz.

Oh, and there are two little spots, one on the top of each thigh.  Must be where the book rubbed the sunscreen off, and then shifted to let the sun in and burn, baby, burn.

So I’m in relative pain tonight. But at least it’s just my legs, and not my face.

Because then I’d get looks upon my return to work tomorrow.

“Off site, hmmm???”

[Not that I’m not entitled to a vacation/beach day.  for crying out loud.  I have 4 weeks per year, and this was my third DAY in 2011.]

 

*I think we actually ARE going to take a vacation.  Last week of August.  North Carolina Outer Banks.  It’s going to be awesome.

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Weekend in the Berkshires

July 18, 2011
  • Four great friends;
  • 7 kids from 3 families;
  • Just enough husbands (2) to entertain and provide pool supervision for said kids;
  • Several mah jongg games;
  • Sunshine;
  • Shade;
  • Pool;
  • Delicious food;
  • Yummy cocktails.
Need I say more?
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Letters

August 21, 2010

Mouse has been at camp for the past 2 weeks.  It has been nice to have alone time with Lemon, for the most part.  I had a few moments in there where I wasn’t hearing from my camper, and it made me nervous.

During my Mah Jongg weekend, my hostess’ daughter wrote her parents (her camp being lots more modern, and allowing emailed letters, where we were dealing not only with old fashioned snail mail, but our address included the line “via U.S. Mailboat”) and said “I got a letter from [Mousey] and she seemed kind of sad.  She said she was making lots of friends, though, because everyone loves her glow in the dark nail polish.”

Mom-cat got her hackles up at that.  Writer Dude worked with me to consider the source.  Etc., etc.  I knew he was right, and she was probably fine, but the nervousness didn’t go away.

Fortunately, we came home to a letter that was very bright & happy.

We had a few more this week, with cute little quotes like, “I hope you guys aren’t missing my awesomeness too much!” and “We get up really early, but that’s okay, because I like and look forward to what we do during the day.”  And fun descriptions about her friends and her archery prowess (so cool).

Even though I knew she was happy, I was thrilled to drive to New Hampshire today and fetch her!  And even more excited to see the boat approach the dock:

She was up and happy, and (of course) STARVING.  She couldn’t order her thoughts hardly at all, trying to get it all out – what she did, who she can’t wait to see again next year, how much fun she had.  It was great.

No sadness, no homesickness.  She was sorry to tell us that she did not miss us. We were not sorry to hear it.  Even though we missed her a lot. And a lot.  And are thrilled to have her back.