Summertime Rolls

We are at that point of July where the Fourth is a pleasant memory and the lazy, long, hot days of summer roll together. The other day, the 5:00 p.m. parking lot at Barracks Road had more parking spaces than cars in it – a tell tale sign of exactly how things slow down around here this time of year.

Without the structure of school, our days feel looser –alarms aren’t always set so mornings are quiet and casual. No rush.

No matter how hot and muggy the day is, there is an outdoor happy hour in the front yard practically every afternoon/evening, while a steady stream of teenagers/friends/neighbors and their dogs pop through to say hello. Dinner involves some version of corn/squash/eggplant/tomatoes with herbs from the garden that we linger over while we watch Betsy beagle lay in wait for lightning bugs as dusk sets in.

Bathing suits and towels hang on the line in hopes of drying between afternoon thunderstorms to be worn to the water again tomorrow. Walking the dog after dark, you can feel the heat of the day still rising off the pavement. There are always popscicles and Klondike bars in the freezer, melons, berries and peaches in the fridge. Summertime and the eating is good.

The lazy, hazy days of summer seem to stretch on endlessly, when in reality, they are fleeting at best, their time cut short by the responsibilities of work and school.

But we soak them in while we can, squeezing in as many picnics, barbecues, baseball games, berry picking, road tripping excursions as possible, swimming every day. The magic of summer may be fleeting, but thank goodness it comes around every year.

In which patience starts to pay off.

Gardening is one of those hobbies that requires that so-called (and overrated if you ask me) virtue known as patience. It can take years to realize a vision as plants settle in, establish themselves and finally, spread out.  It’s a constant work in progress, with mother nature ultimately the one in control.

My friend Anna, who is a gardener to which I dare not hold a candle to, posted a photo of her bluebells yesterday, which made me go look in the backyard for mine. I had checked last week, but there were little signs of life back there at the time.  It was after all, snowing two weeks ago then warm enough for an outdoor happy hour under a blooming pink tree one week ago, so this week, there finally were signs of life all over.

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Coffee Table Art Games

In his retirement, my Uncle Kevin has become an artist. Mosaics are his thing, using small tiles, usually glass and often incorporating mirrors. In addition to selling them, he’s given them away to family and friends.  Every time we’d visit, he’d have a piece or two sitting in the front room for me to bring home. Unfortunately, every single time, someone else would walk in and end up claiming the piece(s) and so Kevin would promise to have one for me next time.

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Making Merry.


This past weekend was devoted to that holiday activity of procuring and decorating the Christmas tree.  We have a small house, but refuse to limit ourselves to a small tree, so furniture gets moved and access to the kitchen from the living room becomes somewhat limited in the name of holiday cheer. Continue reading

The latest DIY tale.

A new entertainment center for the den gave me the chance to do some re-arranging in there recently.  In addition to moving around the furniture and artwork, I realized we needed another lamp to really make the room work, ideally a floor lamp. I just so happened to have one in the basement I’d been wanting to work in somewhere up here, but it needed a new lampshade.  I have this habit of finding cool old lamps for a song (or less) and then topping them with some uberly expensive lampshade – Exhibit A in this would be the very cool lime green ‘gloworm’ lamp in the living room found in the basement of a college boyfriend’s apartment building back in the day currently sporting a three figure silk lampshade. I assured my dear husband this would not be the case in this particular lamp, one that my friend Bonnie had sitting by her front door one day, awaiting drop off at Goodwill.  Because I cannot walk past a free lamp without bringing it home, I grabbed it of course. I had a shade that had once been custom made for a lamp that had been mine as a girl, that is currently housed in Edie’s room. The shade had seen better days but I knew, with some love, would work fabulously on the floor lamp.  Take a look :

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