I had a whole post written in my head, a farewell to blogging and a thank you to all for reading (it sounded suspiciously similar to the acknowledgment page I have written for my unwritten, unpublished book). I was just so tired and flat and didn't have anything to say any more. I took all of July off from pretty much everything except being with family, going on vacation, reading mysteries, playing with my kids. I had lofty plans to watch all 15 hours of Bleak House, but instead I rerererererewatched all four seasons of thirtysomething.
Then I woke up and thought I might like to blog a little bit more. So I freshened up the look and changed the picture and the quote, and here I am.
One of the things we did a fair bit of this summer was cooking. Remember the garden we were going to try, thanks to Jamie Oliver, in spring? Well, it actually grew! A first for me. We were so completely chuffed with ourselves and sat around saying, "We.grow.our.own.food."
The first thing Elaine wanted to make was dessert. Here she is (and I can see how this is at the beginning of summer because her hair is a lot longer now) with her white chocolate-strawberry pie. Strawberries were the one item we planted that didn't grow, so these we bought at the store.
Here is Lucy with a lemon icebox pie. This is my mother-in-law's classic recipe.
One of our crops that came in wonderfully was leaf lettuce. This picture also shows how early this was in summer because if you look at our garden now, it's been overtaken by an attack of the killer tomatoes and the Rocky Horror Picture Show cucumbers.
Elaine made Asian lettuce wraps--that was a summer favorite. We made our own peanut sauce to go with them.
Lucy learned to make the classic spaghetti and meatballs and salad dinner--she used our homegrown basil in the spaghetti sauce.
We've also eaten a lot of cucumber sandwiches. I think I may plant fewer cucumbers next year.
We went on our annual beach vacation to Door County in July. We escaped the 100+ degree temperatures at home to this...
As usual, I did nothing, absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it would be.
Darren and Elaine, looking for fish...
Here's another growth project--I bought a big plastic shaker of zinnia seeds, fertilizer, and weed killer mixed together and sprinkled it all over a former weed patch at the side of house. I figured it couldn't get any worse, so why not give it a whirl. Darren faithfully watered it, and...ta da!
We've also done a lot of swimming and reading. We've gone to the pool twice a week and the splash park and the library and Magic Waters. In fact, the girls joined the summer reading program at the library and when they achieved their goal, they each got a free pass to Magic Waters, which is great because I refuse to pay the exorbitant ticket prices and fight all those crowds of people. The park was closed for one warm Friday evening for a party of all library people. "So, it's Nerd Night?" Darren asked. Whatever. We prefer to be known as "patrons." And we had a blast.
We also did some redecorating at our house, and maybe sometime I'll post before and after pictures.
The girls did loads of fighting, too, until finally Darren and I got completely fed up and we had a family war council. I declared to them, "Behold, your sister--and the summer you learned to love her." For awhile, the three of us would meet in their room every morning for "Sister Time." They each had to say one thing they really like about their sister--whether it was something nice she had done or something about her character. Then they could say one thing they wanted their sister to work on that day (e.g., "Stop brushing my doll's hair without asking.") Then they had (the privilege!) to pray for each other. I won't say it made everything awesome, but it did improve.
They were also serial VBS attenders and played a lot with their friends.