The Thing About Summer Is That It’s Glorious

You know what we did today? We ran errands. We ran a LOT of errands. I have to say that I enjoyed every second of the errand-running because 1) an almost-6th grader is really fun company and 2) one of my biggest frustrations with trying to balance home and work and writing is that things like errands and chores tend to drop to the bottom of my list. I don’t think I’ve been caught up on laundry in three years, and that would probably make me really sad if I hadn’t made some deep and abiding peace with the fact that there’s no way to get everything done. In fact, every once in awhile someone will ask me about work or writing and then say, “I don’t know how you do it all.” And my response is always the same: “I don’t.” And it’s true. I don’t. Because I can’t. I just do the best I can.

So a whole day to run errands? IT WAS DELIGHTFUL. I wanted to wear some sort of productivity badge because it felt like it’s been forever since I put the hurt on a to-do list. We’ll have a short round 2 in the morning, and then I will re-focus my energies on the aforementioned laundry. It is threatening to take over my closet and is really more of a short wall than any sort of normal-sized pile. It may even qualify as sculpture.

Anyhoodle, there are a few things I want to mention tonight that have nothing to do with laundry or errands or assorted household chores. Please do enjoy.

– If you have Sirius radio, you really need to know that channel 17 is now the James Taylor channel. We listened to it almost all day today, and it is some quality summertime radio. Apparently it’s not a permanent change, but I figure if enough of us listen they can just make another channel, right?

– I have mentioned one or nineteen times that I enjoy a hidden object game from time to time. I actually played a couple of different ones this past weekend and NO SHAME because I was craving a semi-mindless activity to wind down from work and was all caught up on the DVR. As much as I like a hidden object game, though, I don’t like the ones with lots of creepy wizards and monsters and whatnot. Suspenseful is one thing, but scary is not fun to me. I have resigned myself to the fact that almost every hidden object game will have a ghost pop up at some point, and I do okay with that as long as the ghost is dressed in a lovely period costume and is not in fact a menacing skeleton in a cape. So, on the off chance that some of you like hidden object games, too, and you’re looking for some options without monsters, I thought I’d mention a couple that I’ve enjoyed. There’s one Castle game (based on the TV show) that I bought last year on bigfish.com and really enjoyed, and then I think the Final Cut games are a ton of fun. I also like the Dana Knightstone games, and you shouldn’t be put off by the fact that they all have “Death” in the title. I played the “Death at Faring Point” game this past weekend and was so tickled that for one big chunk of the game I was pretty much looking for stuff in a beautiful English garden. Just FYI if you’re looking for something to pass the time when you’re traveling or sitting in the dentist’s office or needing to decompress a little or whathaveyou.

– When David and I were first married I pretty much burned him out on chicken broccoli casserole. I made it a LOT. Well, last weekend I was watching Trisha’s Southern Kitchen (she was in ANOTHER new kitchen) (don’t get me started), and I got a little tickled when she made a chicken broccoli casserole. It was a little different than the one I used to make, though, so I decided to give it a try this week. We all loved it, and I think the next time I make it I may use yellow rice instead of white rice – just to give it a little more kick. Also, it occurred to me tonight that the leftovers would be great to use in quesadillas, and I’m totally going to try that at some point.

– Early bird registration ends June 1st for this year’s dotMOM in Nashville (well, technically it’s Brentwood, but you know what I mean). For Melanie and me this will be our 6th dotMOM, and I think this description is so fitting:

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I also got very tickled when I saw the pictures of the speakers…

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…because I wondered if poor Melanie is going to have to stay in between Christy Nockels and me all weekend long. I CAN BE A BIT OBSESSIVE.

No kidding. David is somewhat concerned that, in a moment of weakness, I’m going to try to sniff Christy’s hair.

I mean, I wrote this about her in 2007. That would be EIGHT YEARS AGO.

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Life is funny, isn’t it?

Hope y’all are having a great week!

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Finishing With A Whimper

I realize that nobody really reads blogs on weekends, much less a holiday weekend, but since I haven’t been around for a little over a week, I thought I’d take advantage of this beautiful afternoon and write a little update.

Because I think we can all agree that sitting inside and typing a blog post is the very best use of a beautiful afternoon.

It is what it is, I reckon.

Last weekend was full of graduation activities. Now I of course was not graduating from anything except maybe my rookie year at a new job (and there isn’t a formal ceremony for that particular graduation, though being able to turn off my alarm for 5:10 every morning felt pretty dadgum festive to me), but oh my word it made me super emotional to watch those seniors walk across the platform and accept their diplomas. They have so much fun and so many opportunities stretched out in front of them, and I really can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store. It was such a privilege to be a tiny part of their senior year, and I already miss them like crazy. Honestly, I think part of the reason why I’ve been so quiet blog-wise over the last week is because I just needed some time to process and think about the last nine months; it has been LIVELY and completely different from being with kids in a classroom and a big ole learning experience.

(If you don’t remember why my work has been different this year, this post explains a little bit.)

(I figure clicking on a link is easier than having to read while I repeat myself.)

All righty. So that’s it for the semi-reflective. Now on to the mundane!

It was close to 9 last Sunday night when we finally got home from graduation and a couple of get-togethers that followed, and after Alex went to bed I decided I was going to push through and watch the Mad Men series finale before I went to bed. David had already determined that he couldn’t stay awake for it, but I wanted to see it. Maybe, after graduation, I was just in the mood for another good-bye.

So I watched. And I cried my eyes out. I’m not sure how much of that was related to Don Draper and how much of that was related to those seniors who have been like family this year. Regardless, it was a cathartic hour and a half. And towards the end, when I started to think that my stomach felt a little funny, I wondered if I’d cried to the point that I’d made myself sick.

But then my stomach started to feel even funnier.

And then, about thirty minutes later, even funnier than that.

And not a bit of it was the “ha ha” variety of funny, either.

By late Sunday night, I was in the middle of some full-blown misery. I couldn’t get comfortable, so I slept for a few hours on the bathroom floor (how does the body do that? how does it decide you know what? I can’t possibly sleep in a bed right now, but I will conk out in four seconds if I can just stretch out on a hardwood floor with a towel for a pillow?), and by the time I woke up from my bathroom slumber I realized that I was in for a really long Monday morning. As Mama would say, I was sick as a dog, so I stayed home from work and – no kidding – I slept for 18 hours. EIGHTEEN. LIKE A BOSS.

Nothing like an end-of-the-school-year stomach bug to really kick May up a notch, huh?

Tuesday I was over the stomach woes but still feeling rough. I managed to pull myself together long enough to go speak to some 6th grade girls (it had been on my calendar forever, and I didn’t feel like I was sick enough to cancel), and I am all but certain that my fever broke while I was talking to them. I broke out in a cold sweat and my hair was soaking wet, but by the time I finished talking – about an hour later – my hair had started to dry and was so frizzy that I looked like I’d deliberately copied Roseanne Roseannadanna’s bob. So that made for a stellar afternoon.

By late Tuesday afternoon, though, I was human again. I went to a retirement party for my friend Marcia and had the best time. Marcia has had enormous influence on so many people, so honoring her seemed like the perfect way to close out the school year. Have mercy we’re gonna miss her, but she has all sorts of adventure in store and deserves some time (some years!) off more than just about anyone I know.

As for the rest of the week, it was a busy blur: plowing through the last few days of school, hanging out with friends, running a whole bunch of errands and then our all-time family favorite, going to the SEC baseball tournament. Even though State didn’t make it to the tourney this year, we just picked a team to cheer for at any given game and had ourselves a big time. We definitely missed our Bulldogs, but when Alex and I were tempted to start a “WAR EAGLE” chant at Wednesday night’s game, I felt pretty good about our genuine affection for other SEC teams. It was so fun.

We really don’t have much on the agenda for this summer; I want to write as much as possible, and after a pretty crazy pace for the last couple of years, we’re all excited about staying home and laying low and taking each day as it comes. I want to clean out closets and and throw out clutter and figure out once and for all what exactly is in the big wicker basket that sits on our bar and apparently holds a lot of stuff we don’t need because it is full to the brim even though I never have to look in there. I would also like to pare down my Mentholatum collection (there are jars all over this house) and re-organize my pantry. These are my exciting goals for the summer of 2015.

So. I hope y’all have been doing great. And I hope you have seen these at the grocery store because THEY ARE DELICIOUS.

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That’s just a little Memorial Day tip for you. In the form of Cheez-Its.

Which is as it should be, I think.

Happy Summer, y’all.

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