Last Sunday, several people at church commented to the kids about summer being “half over”… which it isn’t for us, since we homeschool. In fact, it’s all over.
You know how they tell you that the population of the South didn’t really start to increase significantly until the invention of the air conditioner? They aren’t kidding. There are reasons for this, and August is the main one. So, instead of listening to a month of, “But I don’t want to go outside! *whine* It’s too hot!” we start school at the beginning of August. This has the lovely secondary effect of us being done with school by the beginning of May, when the weather is frequently lovely and the garden needs a ton of work.
All that being said, I offer (in homage to teachers past who seemed to love the old standby): What I did on my summer vacation, by the Political Housewyf
1. I made an awning. Three 2x2x8 treated pine poles, pipe strapping (DH insisted I shouldn’t screw the poles directly into the dock walls), six large screw eyes, six D-rings, a package of huge grommets, some PVC pipe and the stand from the failed patio umbrella (to hold up the fourth corner, where I couldn’t install a pole), and yards and yards of fabric (on sale!). The D-rings stay in the grommets and hook quickly into the screw eyes. It takes about two minutes to walk down to the dock and put it up.
And this view is part of why I haven’t gotten a whole lot of blogging done lately…
2. I read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. The cover has a panda with a smoking gun running away. (If you don’t get it, you need this book!) I loved it and discovered that some of my odd punctuation practices would be considered proper in British punctuation but not American. Thanks to my high school English teachers (who were better at imparting grammar than enthusiasm for Shakespeare), none of the grammar rules was new to me, but the book is very funny.
Sticklers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but
you’re your misplaced apostrophe’s apostrophes’ apostrophes! (Contrary to what some of you may think after reading my blog, I do know grammar rules… I just choose to break them upon occasion. And I shall continue to do so. )
3. I killed a whole lot of trees doing adoption paperwork. Our dossier finally went to China in June, got assigned the all-important log-in date (LID) quickly, and… now we wait again. We hope to see our LOA from China before the end of August, which then triggers- get this- even more paperwork. But at least we got some updated photos. (No, no photo here. Yes, everyone else does, but “everyone else” usually has a adoption-specific website that doesn’t get into criticizing certain governmental policies.)
The good news is that I have rediscovered the joys of the Rumor Queen’s website, populated by number crunching waiting parents who, like me, want more info than the adoption agencies are usually willing to commit to. (The agency says, “Well, it could be four to six months…” and the number crunching waiting dad says, “The average for the year, over two hundred familes, has been 74 days.”)
4. I made sushi. No, no raw fish (which is technically sashimi, a subset of sushi). A trendy little sushi place in Richmond (I don’t think we’re cool enough or left-leaning enough for it, honestly) had a special one time we were in there on our way back from running adoption paperwork in DC. They called it Kong’s Lunchbox, and it had tempura-fried banana, peanut butter, and grape jelly in a sushi roll. The kids adored it, which is why what was supposed to be a photo of happy kids eating sushi has no sushi slices in it.
Ah, there it is, along with some tempura-fried figs and pickled ginger. Good stuff. (My DH informed me that the tempura-fried okra was not acceptable. I suspect it’s because the tempura doesn’t coat heavily enough to disguise the vegetable.) (Tempura-fried green beans are really good, too. Start with fresh, raw ones.)
5. I grew rice, although, really, it’s very low-maintenance, so I can’t claim much credit. It started out tiny and pathetic. Recently, though, I told Empress to stand behind it to show off how tall it is… except that you can’t really see her in the photo, the rice is so tall! So, I took another shot with her in front of it. The rice seems to take up a ton of water; I’m not keeping it full of water constantly, because of mosquitoes (I let the top of the soil dry just a bit in between floodings), but it does get watered every few days in this heat, especially since it is in a windy location (it makes the nicest swishing sound in the breeze), which could be causing it to lose water faster. Just this morning, I found a fat, bulging part that is about to erupt into the seed head! Woo hoo!
6. I spent way too much at my friend Jen’s favorite local yarn store in DC, Yarn Cloud. Yarn stores are usually nice, but this one is gorgeous! Well-lit, easy to navigate, and the yarn is well-arranged. What do I mean by well-arranged yarn? Some was stacked neatly on shelves, but lots of it was hung on peg board display hooks, which encourages you to touch the yarn… which is how my bill got so big. Once you start petting the yarn, all kinds of wonderful projects come to mind, and oh, that linen blend feels interesting and… (If you’re on a strict budget, DON’T PET THE YARN!) The priority right now, however, is to get the baby’s blanket on the loom: a single-ply silk blend weft on a plied silk blend warp, both in a gorgeous, deep shade of red. Yes, photos will be forthcoming whenever I get going.
7. I pulled my SIL’s Christmas present out again. It’s an embroidered map of Middle Earth. I spent more than an hour tying knots to make Mirkwood last night, and it’s nowhere near done. (As I told her, “The forests are taking hours each, and that’s just the small ones on the fringe of the map that don’t figure in the stories. I’m not sure I like you this much…”) I had been avoiding it, because I couldn’t figure out how to do mountains. I think I figured out a decent solution, but you’ll have to wait for a photo; it’s just too unfinished right now!
As always, I’ve been a bit wordy for “quick takes”, but there it is! Go check out Jen at Conversion Diary for a weekly dose of 7 Quick Takes from her and dozens of other bloggers.
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