Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(The quilt I made in my quilting class in May. Behind it: the corn we have our fingers crossed will actually produce edible ears.)

I'm writing this on my porch, a little after noon. For the last few weeks, the idea of doing anything on my porch past, say, 9 A.M. has seemed out of the realm of possibility. Hot, is what I'm saying. Dang hot.

But today it is a miraculous 76 degrees. How did that happen? Do we have some nice, Canadian breezes to thank? I'm thankful to whatever brought this change in the weather about. Because when it's near 100 degrees by noon everyday, you don't want to move, and it's a crapshoot whether or not you even want to breathe.

So we had a nice time at the beach. It was hot there, too, but being near the ocean makes the heat almost bearable. I have to say, I got a little bored by the middle of week, and next year we're talking about breaking our long tradition of going to Sunset Beach and switching over to the Outer Banks, where it's cooler and there's stuff to do. Stuff that doesn't attract frat boys, but is fun nonetheless.

I'm sort of waiting for my summer mojo to kick in. I have lots of plans, but this week have been mostly cleaning and puttering. I need to make lists. I'm working on a new quilt and planning on a oral history project with my mother-in-law. Initially, my idea was to interview her about her cooking life--she is an amazing Southern cook, and in particular I'd like to talk to her about her potato salad and deviled eggs--but now my scope has widened. My in-laws come from Gaston County, NC, and both of them worked in the cotton mills growing up, as did most of the folks in their families. I think it would be interesting to get that part of my MIL's history recorded, and I think it would be good for Jack and Will to know about.

But, like most summers, my main objective is survival. This will call for lots of tomato sandwiches and banana pudding and magazine reading. If you have any other suggestions for making it through the long, hot days, send them my way.

More soon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm Alive!

Just checking in. I've not been feeling very bloggy lately. I'm a little under the weather, a little overwhelmed trying to finish a first draft and copyedit a final draft and adjust to the summer routine. Which is not routine yet.

The garden is up and running! We've got cukes, we've got zucchini. The tomatoes will be here any second. I go out in the morning while it's still cool and weed. Weeding is, weirdly enough, my favorite part of gardening. I let the Man do the planting and planning; I am the Imposer of Order.

I got knocked out by a summer bug on Friday. Today I feel better, though still a bit tired. I want my energy back! On Monday my fabric order came in--this summer I'm going to make a quilt for our bed. The colors are white, lavender, light blue, medium blue, and popsicle. Popsicle! Imagine a raspberry popsicle and you get the idea. The Man is a little dubious about the popsicle fabric. If it's not blue, he doesn't trust it.

Anyway, the quilt pattern is very modern--off-kilter squares on a white background. I love it.

I want to be quilting and writing and painting rooms and organizing, but right now mostly I'm just weeding. Weeding is good. It makes the plants happy. It makes me happy to see a neat garden. Well, the plants are exuberant to the point of looking almost wild, but that's okay. There's almost nothing more delightful than a joyful plant.

I hope you're doing well. I'll come visit soon. We're off to the beach in a bit, but when I get back I hope to be a better Blogland neighbor. Enjoy the summer! Eat a tomato!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Last Day of School--I Think

Rumor has it that today is Jack's last day of school. All I know is I'm to pick him up at the pool at 1:30 after the fifth grade party. Whether that's really the end of it, we'll see. I expect to get an email later in the afternoon from our room parent saying, "Don't forget, tomorrow's a half-day!"

We've had three half-days in a row now. I don't know why that's so irritating, but it is. Why not just keep the kids for an entire day-and-a-half and call it a school year? I would have been happy to have dropped off Jack at school on Monday with his toothbrush and sleeping bag and then come back Tuesday afternoon around 5.

Will was done yesterday. He seemed ready to be shed of first grade. He's had a great year, but he's tired. Both my guys get tired the last few weeks. They look pale. They bicker. I wonder if this is true of home-schooled kids as well? Do they reach a point where they feel like yelling, "Enough already! Can't you see I'm run-down and irritable, and I can't process any more information?"

As always, our summer plans are minimal. A trip to the beach for a week, and that's about it. We'll run up to the mountains a couple of times. Will is doing a lacrosse camp. Jack signed up--much to our amazement--for "Camp Survivor," one of Our Fine School's summer programs, but it was canceled for unknown reasons. The Man thinks maybe one of the camp administrators actually chanced to watch the show "Survivor", upon which the camp is based, and realized, "Hey, this really isn't for kids."

Anyway, Jack now has to pick out a new camp. He's leaning toward Robotics camp, which is what we thought he'd pick in the first place.

I'm pleased to announce that Jack has been placed in pre-Algebra next year. It sounds like about 25% of sixth grade math students go on to pre-Algebra; the rest do a general math course. I don't like to brag on my kids, but if you knew the mathematical gene pool Jack was drawing from--i.e. mine--you'd realize what an accomplishment this is. Actually, there are plenty of people in my family and the Man's who are really good at math, but I feel my badness at math outweighs their gifts to the extent that it's a wonder my children can add simple sums.

We're off to the mountains for a couple of days, so I probably won't post again until early next week, when I should know for sure whether or not the school year is actually over. Stay tuned!