Wednesday, August 22nd — a lament for the end of summer

So, this is my last Wednesday of summer holidays.  Tomorrow will be my last Thursday and Friday my last. . .

. . .you get the picture.

I hate that summer and summer holidays have to end.  I live for summer, it’s my time of year.  Spring and Fall are nice, Winter totally sucks (except for the occasional beautiful day), but Summer, when it has been as fabulous as this one has (and even when it hasn’t) is the best season of all.

But it saddens me immensely when it’s over.

I guess it’s the kid in me, not wanting the endless days of sunshine and fun and warm, soft breezes; barbecued hamburgers and corn on the cob; walks to get  ginormous ice-cream cones from the local ice-cream shop; the sound of kids on bikes and frogs in ponds; hawks circling high overhead, their piercing calls cutting through the heat-faded blue of a summer’s afternoon; the bone-shaking rattle of thunder, and lightning so bright it makes you wince in wonder and fear; the soft patter of rain on a sultry summer evening — the sense of relief and joy that bit of cool respite brings;  flowers in the garden; tomatoes fresh and warm off the vine, their juices running sweet down your chin as you bite into them whole; family gathered on the deck laughing, eating, drinking; beer in coolers; wine in fancy plastic glasses; all of this and more — I can’t stand the heartbreak of it ending.

But, end it must.  Like Arthur’s Camelot it is but a brief and shining moment.  A moment that will sustain me through the long wait for its return.

Here’s a sampling of images from summers past and present:

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A few from the garden

Just some garden pics to share.

What I did on summer vacation this year

Well, not everything I did, but I’m going to list the books and movies I watched/read and give a brief review of each.  One or two sentences, that’s it.

So, here goes:
Books

1.  Fifty Shades of Grey, E.l. James — great summer read.  Wonderful inspiration for the bedroom.  Total fantasy, but addictive as hell.

2.  Blue Shoes and Happiness, the latest book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith — these books always make me smile.  They’re sweet and gentle and full of lessons on how we should live our lives.  Finally, Mma Makutsi finds happiness, although not through her new blue shoes.

3.  Fallen, by Karen Slaughter — a crime drama.  My mother gave me this book.  It’s a good read.  Fast-paced, action driven.  Surprising ending.  Strong, capable, believable female protagonist(s).  I’d read more of Slaughter’s books.

4.  The Friday Night Knitting Club — can’t recall the author, sent this one home with my mother because she’s a knitter.  Not a great read.  Dull, plodding and sappy.  Sure it was written hoping to be made into a movie.

5.  The Fall of the Templars, Robyn Young — this is the third book in a trilogy.  It’s slow and plodding, reads like a history lesson.  But, it is interesting for the historical facts it imparts.  Glad I didn’t read the first two.  Characters are wooden and uninteresting.

Movies

1.  Batman, The Dark Knight Rises — loved it?  No.  It’s too dark and very disturbing.  Is it a good movie?  Definitely.  Christian Bale is excellent as Batman, and the story was strong and well-paced.  I’m convinced Jeremy Renner has a cameo as the evil Bane character during one of the prison scenes.

2.  Brave — absolutely fabulous.  I don’t care if it is an animated movie!  Loved everything about this movie — the story, the perfection of the images and the flawless recreation of animal and human movement.  Not just a ‘girls’ movie.  An ‘everybodys’  movie.

3.  The Bourne Legacy — latest of the Bourne movies.  You can’t compare Jeremy Renner to Matt Damon.  And neither can you their characters.  This was a complete departure from what we got with Matt as Jason Bourne.  If they keep making these movies they’re not going to be able to keep trading on the Bourne name.  Was a great summer hit — story driven but with just enough action to satisfy our needs.  Only complaints — didn’t explain the connection between Aaron Cross and the doctor well enough and the motorcycle chase scene was too long.

4.  Dark Shadows — dreadful.  First time I’ve ever been disappointed by a Johnny Depp flick.  (He was good, though.)

5.  Singing in the Rain — what is there to say?  This is a one of my all-time fave’s.  Have seen it on television numerous times, but WOW seeing it on the big screen is an experience and a half.  Woke up singing “Good Morning, Good Morning” this morning.  And Gene Kelly — sigh.

And that, folks, is my entertainment diary for the summer of 2012.  What books did you read?  What movies thrilled you?

A stormy night in Bon Accord

Just wanted to share a few pictures of a storm that’s rolling through our neck of the woods.  I played around and edited these a bit to enhance colour and brightness.

Wednesday, Aug. 8th

Well, I did it.  I submitted a piece of writing.  Now, I’ll wait and see.

 

The sound of silence. . .

. . . I am alone today.  For the first time in over 3 weeks.  It is a wonderful feeling.

Not that I didn’t enjoy the company I’ve kept over that time — most certainly not.  But now that the house is mine and mine alone again I am fully enjoying it.

Although. . .

. . . my house is a bloody mess.  But in a good way.  It’s the mess my three grandchildren have left in their wake.  And this morning as I wove my way through a maze of toys and crayons and dress-up clothes and rocks and crafts and towels and. . . I smiled as I thought about how much fun we had.  It’s going to take a day (or two) to get the house back to the way I normally keep it, but that’s okay.  I’ve got time.

I am now going to make the most of the rest of my holidays to relax and go at a leisurely pace.  There are still chores to be done, but I’ll poke away at them without being stressed.  I want to gut the kids’ room yet and repaint, but I think that will be a project for the Fall now.

What’s most important is Tim finishing the deck.  He’s been doing all the work himself — and it’s a big job.  Especially in the heat we’ve been having.  I worry sometimes about him overdoing it and nag him to quit and come inside for a break.  He hates taking breaks, says it’s harder to get back to work when he does, but I’m persistent.

Right now things are stalled because he had to return to work a couple of days early.  So, the ledger boards, which are giving him a major headache are just laying out there, unattached.  I am trying not to despair. I know he’ll get it done.  My husband is nothing if not stubborn and he’ll do it all without help.  Pride.  The cause of all my worry.

Well, I shouldn’t say he didn’t have any help.  The kids all tried to pitch in and give Grandpa a hand from time to time.  Here’s a picture of them helping screw together a support beam:

They were actually tapping in the screws which was quite a production!  Tim let them hold the drill afterwards, but they didn’t much care for the noise and vibration.

We had such a blast having them here for a week.  Went to the outdoor pool in Redwater three times — absolutely enjoyed that.  We can’t very well go there without any kids in tow — would look like a couple of old creepers!  So, now we’ll have to content ourselves with evening trips to the indoor pool in St. Albert.  Sigh.

I wish I had taken Landon to the pool in Redwater when he was younger.  He would have enjoyed it.  But, when they move here, finally, he and Jenn will be able to take the kids.  It’s a great place, not too crowded and very clean.  Run by a great bunch of young people.  I truly will miss going there with the kids.

A couple of pics of the kids at the pool:

And now, I must go get started getting back to my ‘real’ life.

Enjoy the day!