Friday, July 27, 2012

The Race of Time

The summer is going by so fast. I am finding myself very anxious about it. It's how I feel when I go to Brimfield Antique Fair. I am so excited to go, find my head swiveling this way and that, but about 1/2 hour in after I haven't found anything to buy I panic. I think I am missing the most perfect thing to buy. Once I make my first purchase I feel so much relief. My friend Beth and I call it "Breaking the Seal". Just buy something little and then you won't feel so much pressure to find a great buy.

I feel the same way about summer. I love the unstructured days, the warmth, the lack of schedule, the casual feel to it all. I wish it could be summer all year long. I suppose it could if I lived someplace else but I don't want to live anyplace else. Once summer arrives, suddenly it is okay that we eat at 7:30 at night instead of 6. No one complains about it. We don't complain to Tim when he suggests we go everywhere in the jeep with no top on it. Suddenly it's fun instead of cold.

And here we are at the end of July and I'm totally panicking because I don't want it to end. I want the world to just slow down and have the summer feel long for once. Once August hits, for me that is the signal that summer is really coming to a close. The air starts to change a little and you can feel Fall coming on.

I have never uttered the words "This summer was too long!" Instead it feels like each year summer goes by faster and faster. I wonder when I am retired and have all the time in the world to do what I want, will I think "Boy, I wish summer would just end!" If you do hear me utter those words I will likely be sitting inside with the air conditioner on full blast, wearing a sweater and some "slacks". God help me if that happens.

I have so many more plans for the summer. I want to be able to fit them all in and savory every moment. This week while we are on vacation, I'm going to make a list with the kids of all the things we have done so far. I think that helps to remember that you did actually fit a lot in. Of course I'm making a list, right....we'll make it in one of my cute notebooks too.

When I picked Mimi up at camp today she said "I wish summer would slow way down. I am having so much fun but it is going by too fast." Funny that we were both thinking the same thing today.

Do you feel the summer goes by too fast or is it just me?  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's Your Favorite Quote?

I have little scraps of paper everywhere with little sayings that I come across that I like. I find them in books, magazines, while talking to people, overhearing people talk, and even Pinterest has a bevy of interest sayings.  I was cleaning out one of my notebooks today and 5 of the pages had quotes written on them that I wanted to remember.

Let me digress a minute. I found those sayings in one of my notebooks. I LOVE little notebooks. I write lists in them, make plans for my garden, jot down things I want to remember…you name it, it goes in the notebook. The funny thing is though when I get a new one that I love, I save it….sometimes for years. Two years ago Tim gave me the cutest notebook covered in a Lilly pattern that I loved and I didn’t want to use it because I wanted to keep it forever. I just started using it a few months ago. I know…I’m a little crazy in the notebook department. One of the sayings I like is “This is your life. Do what you love and do it often.” Okay, I love saving pretty notebooks …and I’ll keep doing it. It’s my life.  I can do what I want.
I bought a print on Etsy once and the artist included two little business cards that said “I will be grateful for this day.” The card looks like the sky and has a little cloud and a sun on it. I love them. I keep one on my fridge and one in my office. I love how they remind me to be thankful every day. Listen, there aren’t many days when we are thankful for everything that happened that day but we can all find one thing we are grateful for each day. Every night, before I fall asleep I go through the list of things I was thankful for that day. I think it’s good to fall asleep thinking about the things that make you happy. I'm a big believer that it will help you wake up happy too.

I saw a quote recently on Pinterest that said “When you are in the shower and you hear loud thumps you think ‘They are killing my family and I will have to fight the attacker naked’”. How true is that?! I hear “intruders” most often when I am home by myself. I imagine the bathroom door sliding open and an intruder walking in while I’m in the shower. I can only imagine what a sight it would be to be slipping around on the floor trying to fend off an attacker while I’m buck naked.  All I can imagine is all the cat hair dust bunnies that would be stuck to me after rolling around on my bathroom floor. I’m pretty sure any attacker would flee at the sight of me naked before I would have to attempt to “take him down” so I’m not too worried about it. But I do think about it from time to time.
 I don’t know who John Burroughs is but I found a great quote by him that completely describes how I feel every day: “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.”  I have lots of lists, in my cute little notebooks, of all the things that need to get done each day. And after doing all that “stuff” and getting the kids off to bed, it’s generally around 9:30 or 10 and I want to turn back the clock. There are at least 2-3 nights a week where I don’t go to bed until 1 because I want to make new lists of things I thought of that day that I want to do, or I can’t put a book down, or I want to catch up on some shows on the DVR, or I want to research places for our next camping trip, or I want to stare at my living room for awhile and think of ways I could rearrange the furniture. I just don’t feel like there is enough time in the day to do the things I want to do. I typically regret it the next day because I am so tired but in the moment, I love staying up and just doing what I want to do in the silence of my house.

 I’m a big believer in the saying “Everything happens for a reason.” My kids hear me say it to them at least once a week…and they are sick of hearing it. Last year Jack didn’t make the middle school soccer team, the first school sport he had tried out for. He was disappointed, of course and I felt so badly for him. I hate to see my kids disappointed and sad. A few days later he broke his arm in his town soccer game.  When he was getting his cast on I turned to him and said “See, everything happens for a reason. You didn’t make the soccer team because God knew you were going to break your arm and wouldn’t be able to play anyways. So, he gave someone else a chance on the team.” Jack thought about it for a minute and said “I think you’re right.”  I don’t know that I was right but it was a nice way to soften the edges of the hurt.  There are many times I have no idea why something happened but I try to have faith in the fact that there was a good reason. The other day I saw something on Pinterest that made me think of another perspective:  “Everything happens for a reason but sometimes things happen because you are stupid and make bad decisions.”  Totally made me laugh. Who knows why things really happen…could be fate..or could be your stupidity!
Speaking of stupidity, I saw this quote the other day and wondered why I hadn’t come up with this idea myself: “When I buy new clothes I take a red pen and mark all the prices down on the tags so my husband thinks they were on sale. He thinks I am the best shopper.” Timmy loves a good deal. He would probably be agreeable to me shopping more if he thought I was the best bargain shopper in the world. Now that he is probably reading this I don’t think he will ever believe me again when I say “It was on sale!”

We are getting ready to head out on our next camping adventure to the Outerbanks. We have never been but everyone that has gone has remarked on how relaxing it is. I’m all for relaxation.  I just want to go to the beach, read books, and have no plans. I came across a quote in a book the other day that said “I love that feeling in summer when you just don’t have a clue what day it is.” To me, that is the best feeling. I am looking forward to feeling that at least once during my vacation.
Share your favorite sayings with us…..I know you have one…everyone does.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happy Places

I think you know by now that I have a few happy places - places that allow me to feel most like my true self. For me, these places are my own home, Truro, and my camper. These are the places that bring out the best in me and allow me to feel comfortable being Little Kelly.

One of my happy places is also my screened porch. I love to sit on my porch, listening to the birds, feeling a breeze, reading a book, enjoying a glass of wine with a friend - for whatever reason it is a sanctuary for me. I love being outside and being in the fresh air...but I especially love being outside and not being bitten my mosquitos. You've heard of the Mosquito Magnet? Well, I'm the poster child for that phrase. For whatever reason they love me. Last weekend we went to a friend's house and sat outside for the night. I'm not making this up....I had AT LEAST 200 mosquito bites. On my left knee alone, I counted 9 bites.  It was so bad on the back of my thighs that it looked like I had some sort of skin disease. I'm just sayin'....mosquitos aren't my friends. So, any opportunity I have to enjoy the outdoors and not be tortured by these insidious creatures, I love it.

Which leads me to my next point, the revitalization of my screened porch is the reason for my most recent blog silence. Let me paint a picture. In the last two years, the screened porch became our bunny's summer home when she was a toddler. She teethed on our wicker furniture, the woodwork, and the screens. She had potty accidents on the wood floor.  And she single handedly ruined my happy place. Now that she is a "tween" and is not eating or peeing on every surface, we decided it was time to reclaim and redo my happy place.

We had our work cut out for us. Rescreen 12 screens, put up a ceiling (we just had open trusses), paint, upcycle some yard sale furniture, and refurnish the room. When you find yourselves uttering the words "This will be easy", back away. That doesn't mean "we can finish this project in a weekend". It means, we can finish this project some the next year or two. We started last fall with the ceiling and here we are almost a year later, still working on the ceiling. Over time the project grew into something that didn't seem to have an end. I'm all about getting things done and checking them off my list so not having a defined end in sight is like having an open wound that won't stop bleeding. And we all know how I feel about blood....

As it turns out, Mimi could start her own re-screening business. In the end, Tim and Mimi were replacing screens in 11 minutes flat...from taking the door of its hinges, to taking out the old screen, replacing with a new one, and putting it back in place. Screens replaced? Check!

The tongue and groove planked ceiling seemed simple until we didn't have a ladder that was tall enough. One night last week, we committed to finishing the ceiling but what it came down to was me standing on the very top rung of the ladder...well, the tippy top of the ladder...while having nothing to steady myself on... while holding a pine board that Timothy hammered into place. Can you say Instability? Both the situation and Tim's consideration that this was not an unusal request.

Enter my friends' teenage boys to the rescue. They were sent over to help "us" and as soon as they arrived, I took my shaky legs to do other tasks. I put a wash in, folded clothes in the dryer, completely cleaned out the camper from our last trip, reloaded all of our stuff in the camper, and came back in to find the boys literally running out. "Wow, that was quick! You guys are done?" They replied hesitantly "Ah...the nail gun broke so we are leaving." Turns out not one real board had been put up. There was one board hanging precariously from about 20 nails that never quite made it thorugh all the way. I walked out to the screened porch to find Tim shaking his head and looking at the nail gun. Turns out, we just needed to put in new nails. It was at that point, that I just sucked it up and got on the tippy top of the ladder, shaking like a leaf, amd held each board until we got within one board of being done.

Ceiling up? Check! Now let's paint the ceiling. That seemed simple until we realized that the roller was not going to get in the grooves of the planking. So, after Tim went over the ceiling twice with rollers, I then had to follow Tim with a paintbrush and fill in every groove. After 2 layers of paint and 3 days, the ceiling was painted. Check!

I won't belabor this post with every painfuld detail, but I will share the straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back moment with you. It was Tuesday night and we just needed to install the fan, take the painter's tape off, put up some trim pieces, and load all the furniture in. Again, one of us foolishly said "This will be easy" and we were cursed.

At 10:30 pm Tim was still using the saw to cut trim pieces and I was hammering shells into the beadboard panels. I had visions of the police showing up to tell us that our neighbors had complained abou the noise and just wanted to go to bed. Hey, we all wanted to go to bed at that point but sometime the simple things just aren't that simple.

At 11:00 pm, when we realized we weren't going to finsh the trim, I proclaimed it was time to load the furniture in. Timmy just blinked at me. Blink. Blink. He was incredulous that I would put furniture in there only to have to move it the next day to finish the trim. I literally gritted my teeth and said "I have been waiting for over a year for this to be finished and we are so close...but I can't wait another a minute. I'm going to read my book on this porch tonight!" I had reached my limit and was not going to wait another minute. And sure enough at 11:30. I had my feet up on a foot stool, reading my book, and enjoying the breeze blowing through.

When will we finish the trim? might take another year. When will I find another table for the other corner? Who knows! When will I find the perfect serving cart for our wine bar? No idea. But you know what? The screened porch is once again my happy place. I get up early each morning and go out and read there. I get home from work and immediately go out there to take off my shoes and just relax. Last night it was so hot in our room that I went out and slept on the couch on the porch. There is nothing better. Nothing better than my screened porch. And nothing better than happy places. What is your happy place?