Thursday, August 16, 2012

Coffee chat on Winding Down!!!!

No food today!

Today I want to talk about winding down summer. Around here, I always charge into the few months of nice weather with a gazillion projects...

Some get done.

Some don't.

Some nights a girl just has to go get ice cream, and I'm not talkin' 'bout the back freezer.

I watch summer pass in a flurry of blossoms... spring bulbs.... Iris.... the first roses and yucca plants.... Turtleheads... and now the annuals are gorgeous, the Iris need to be cut back, the roses are on third bloom and the coneflowers are amazing... So are the black-eyed Susans!

What wonderful things did you accomplish this summer?  What didn't get done?

And what can get put off until next spring????

My check off list isn't too bad. We got the front porch spindles (a gazillion of them) primed with oil-base primer. We got the new water garden put in and it's almost complete and uncovered 1 1/2 of the other water gardens... The old chicken coop has a new roof on it and the walls are shored up nice and straight and true... So that means I can fill it with STUFF!!!!  :)  The older girls are working on patchwork quilts and the middle sized ones are doing well with their math and English/reading studies.

The toddlers aren't biting as much, Praise the Lord!  ;)

Oh, and the "Swingy Jungle" has been cleared out and expanded, (with more expansion to come) so the big kids have a broad, open, shady forest to play in.

With the fox, of course.

So what's happened at your place? Everything done? (Don't say yes, please. I can't take the let-down!!!)

And if not, can it wait?



  1. Well I know its not summer here. The neighbour pulled out a lot of spring bulbs and shared them. (a lot means at least 100+) shes downsizing! as I haven't gardened since I got sick the jungle woops I mean garden needed work. The sour sobs are going mad (weed) it took several days but they are in. It tired me out but its done.
    I thought for awhile it would have been better to have a health crisis in Summer. It wouldn't been nearly as cold but then after seeing how long it takes to recover I would have missed out on going to the cricket live and also would have felt I lost quite a bit of summer (I love summer) I feel I lost July.

    1. Ach, Jenny, you've got the best excuse to chill-lax. We just want you healthy!

      But I must admit that a nice looking plot with few weeds makes me feel better about everything.

  2. The main thing I accomplished was to turn in a book June 20th! July was vacation and getting kids ready to go back to school (eye doctor and dentist and haircut appointments).

    I didn't get anything major done around the house. The summer just flew by!

    1. You've got kids at home. It does fly by. We used to run every night (and I was working 3 or 4 nights a week) with the kids to sports... Crazy schedules!

      So having kids go home at night is kinda like vacation here!

      Seth was working on putting in my little stone sidewalk... Wait, reword: Short sidewalk made of Big Fieldstone... It's not exactly right, yet, but closer! And the fish we put in the new water garden ate the mosquito larvae.


  3. I want a summer rerun. I didn't get everything done that I wanted to get done! But I still have another week!

    Made major headway on my Speedbo story from's much more fleshed out but my hero is two-dimensional so I'm working on him. Poor dear. He's constantly upstaged by a dog or a child. Might have to get rid of one of them. :-)

    Totally rearranged my house. I 'shopped at home' and totally redecorated and I LOVE the new look -- especially in my living room. I just walk in and smile a hundred times a day just because it's so beautiful and it didn't cost a penny. I even made patchwork curtains which look soooooo cool!!!!!!

    And I'm halfway through organizing my 'study'. I put shelves in the closet and finally have everything organized in wicker baskets and containers. Again it didn't cost me a penny, though I stole some stuff from my daughter's stash in the basement!

    Oh -- and I completely reinvented my front yard. It's all perenial beds but was overgrown with weeds at the beginning of the spring. I worked bit by bit and created mulched paths and dug up a bazillion pounds of crab grass and a truck load of thistles but it looks beauteous now. Took the whole month of July though.

    On the sparse cool days I baked ahead for the autumn for lunches. And froze a oodles of containers of soup.

    And I'm catching up on NCIS epis that I couldn't watch all year because they're on too late for this working girl. And trying to catch up on Castle as well, but I keep forgetting when it's on. Do they get together at the end of the season?

    Hmmmm, not a bad list of accomplishments, eh? Especially considering how hot it was this summer. :-)

    1. Kav, it's funny that your NCIS is on too late - around here it's on at 6:00. Much too early! We record the episodes and watch them later.

    2. I refuse to tell you anything about Castle.... Gotta keep watching as you can. Love that show!

      Kav, you should do a book on self-help tips for the monetarily challenged. You truly took lemons and made delicious lemonade cupcakes out of it. With frosting and lemon ice sugar sprinkles!!!! How stinkin' clever of you and I'm going to steal your idea and have a heroine do that... because she's broke and her life's in the dumpster because she bought a bad property and got totally raked over the coals and ended with nothing but her tenacious spirit... She will be modeled on Kav's amazing summer. I'm just grinning, thinking about it!

    3. Oooh, I would read that! But then, I'd read everything you write!

    4. Kav, sounds like you've been crazy productive!!

      And Castle...NO I will not give any spoilers!! You need to keep guessing. All I'm saying is... just wait until the last episode of the season!!!! :)

  4. Summer? Oh, you mean that blast of heat?

    Our hot, dry weather left the same time the bikers did - our low was in the 40's last night, and now (8:00 am) is still 55 degrees.

    Man, I love this weather!

    The problem? With a little bit of rain and cooler weather, the weeds have sprung up overnight. The yard wasn't looking too bad - a little brown - but now it's all raggedy grass and foot-high weeds. The kind with prickers. Yikes!

    So NOW is the time to get things done...

    Report on the other projects:

    We've all adjusted to six adults living together. It's wonderful to have our entire family in the same town again :), but we'll live cozy while those darn kids get their financial feet under them again. What we really need are a couple in-laws to appear and make homes with these kids. So we're in the market for a 20-something girl who likes Tolkein and the Avengers for our 28-year-old son, and a 20-something guy who likes classical music and strange television shows for our 24-year-old daughter. Know anyone who fits the bill? No? Then we'll just continue to wait on God. The more important the occasion, the more important it is to do it His way.

    The set of steps in the retaining wall got started, but needs some tweaking and rebuilding. The boys misjudged the depth of the steps compared to a normal person's feet, so we'll tear it down and redo it. We're just trying to figure out how without buying too many more materials. It's looking good, though!

    I'm ordering gravel for the parking area this morning. Now that we have four cars instead of two, we're actually using the gravel parking space for more than just the trash cans.

    Still working on where I want to put flower gardens - I have ideas, but nothing on paper.

    And, like Missy, I turned in a book this summer, and I have a pub date (May 2013!). I also have the 2nd one nearly done and ideas for another one (more historical than romance...).

    Oh, and with the cooler weather, it's time to head up into the Hills again. They're calling. So no chores on Saturday - the weather's too nice!

    1. Hey, chickie, I'm May 2013 too!!!! Yay for us! :) Jan, baby, we'll be out together! Let's dance!!!!

      I love the step by step you're doing. So fun. And I've torn down so many projects, I just call them "experiential learning" now. And then I use it in a book and claim it on my taxes.


    2. Oh, Jan, when I was in college I was constantly fixing up all my friends with each other. Good, sweet people who just need a little intoduction!!

      Then, of course came the weddings. Bridemaid gowns (yuck), reading poetry in front of the church (arg), and playing piano for the singing (they regretted that one).

      When they all started having babies, that was a lot more fun! Sweet little things now half grown up!

  5. Nooooooooooo. We're not winding down yet, please.

    Seriously. I do love my job, but I'm not ready to go back yet. Between the two weeks I've spent at mom's to help my sister recover from spinal surgery, and the three weeks when my downstairs neighbor had plastering and sanding and painting done so there was a worker literally in my doorway most of the day (perils of brownstone living), I feel like there really hasn't been a summer.

    I'm about halfway done with my Speed Dating requested book and I'm making good headway preparing classes for the new Common Core standards, but I could really use another month.

    1. Mary, you're serving in so many ways.

      Good for you, helping family. And that they're close enough to help. That rocks. I love that Dave's family is close enough and has some kids around to help with house, garden, health chores. With Grandpa bedridden, Mom has enough to do to take care of him. Family is the Godsend that's keeping him out of a nursing home so far. Bless you!


      Love 'em on TV.

      But it's some gettin' used to, being in a city neighborhood. I'm shopping in SOHO this weekend... Going to vintage clothing stores.

      And cheering my Yankees on to hopefully victory Friday night!

      Kids are taking over house and dogs.

      God bless kids. ;)

    2. Figures you're in town while I'm in Philly. One of these times you come to NY we should have coffee.