Our Summer So Far

To a certain degree, it feels as though we’ve gotten off to a rocky start this summer, maybe because the kids are having a rough time with transitioning to a less structured daily schedule.  There have been tantrums, there have been tears, and that’s just me!  (Bah-dum-dum.)  Our summer break has really only begun this week, so I have a whopping two days of data on which I am basing my statements, so we’ll see if things even out a bit.  Here’s what we’ve been up to in the past two days:

I’m nearly finished painting the cabinet doors for the kitchen cabinets. I know!  Only took me six months.  Part of the delay was my struggle to find a way to prop them up off the floor of the garage while I paint, so I don’t get an icky seal where they’re basically painted to the garage floor.  My friend Daniela told me they’d used plastic cups when she and her husband painted their cabinets–genius!  So I literally went out the same day, bought a package of 50 cups, and am using those to keep the edges of the doors clear of the ground.  I’m hoping to be done tomorrow with the final coat, so I can hang them on Thursday (and share photos with you, obviously).  We have houseguests coming on Saturday, and six months of not having cabinet doors has had enough of an effect on me that I’m not willing to invite people to sleep in my home and pretend that I just haven’t gotten around to putting the doors back on–it’s time to knock this thing out.

Our friends coming to stay also motivated me to finally bite the bullet and buy a new rug for the den, too–which you see above, in all its glory.  Many thanks to my mother for the emails back and forth to talk me out of getting an all-green rug to go in our all-green den.  I think this is a way better choice, and when my husband and I narrowed it down to this or a lovely grey one, this was the clear winner.  It’s vibrant without being too over-the-top, and it picks up all the warm tones and brightness that I think we lack in our den, what with a creamy-colored sofa and a camel-colored armchair and ottoman.  The downside is that now I think I have to choose a new fabric for the drapes–probably a textured cream rather than the gorgeous Lizzy House fabric I’d set aside (which I’m sure I’ll use on something else, like maybe a fabulous quilt).  I think I’ve finally found a curtain rod long enough to go over the 149″ span of the doors between the den and the sunroom, too, so things are finally trucking along in the home decor department (GIANT thanks to my Sewing for Your Home e-course folks for motivating me to get stuff done around here!).

While I’ve been busy scouring the internets for the final bits and pieces to get these rooms looking like we live here rather than that we just moved in, the children have been at each other’s throats sucking it up that the weather has been less than stellar.  It has rained most mornings, and just when you’ve decided you can’t go to the pool so you’ll make other plans, it gets to be roasting hot.  Add to that the fact that our AC has been out since before Memorial Day…tempers have been a little short.  Luckily, we’ve got library books to keep us busy…

And brief moments between rainstorms to play outside…

and what has turned out the be the most magical dollar store bug catcher in the universe–the kids think it’s exotic because it’s “made in China, Mom!!”  We did have a near-miss when our boy tried to capture a wasp for his collection, and we’ve had to caution the children that spiders are NOT for catching, but other than that, you’d be shocked–SHOCKED–at how much enjoyment they get out of just the fact of having a bug catcher.  And saying “bug catcher.”  You might be similarly shocked by the enormity of the eruptions that ensue when anyone other than the appointed bug catcher owner dares to lay a teensy finger on said bug catcher, as they are of Odysseyan proportions, for reals.  I came home last night after the kids were in bed, from teaching a class, and found both the big catchers on the High Shelf of Punishment, which can only mean I missed out on some really quality screaming.  Oh, shucky darn.

Good thing I planned other activities to take the edge off.  This is the crown that our #2 made with our oldest using the activities from Summer Camp Adventure Club.  We signed up for the whole summer, and so far, we’re really pleased by the variety and quality of the activities.  Our 16-year-old is doing “camp” with the kids in the mornings when they don’t have actual out-of-the-house camp, so I can get some projects completed–and it is the sweetest thing to watch.  Not that it’s scream-free, but the screams are so much less irritatingly loud when they’re not aimed at you and someone else is there to make them stop.  I don’t know what we’re going to do when she leaves for college!!  Eeek!

She was relieved not to have to run camp this morning, though, because we took the littles to the library for a magic show.  I’ve always known that the local public library system does great things for summer reading, but somehow we never quite made the time in our calendar to take advantage of any of it.  This year, since most of the kids are old enough to win the prizes for completing the reading they were going to do anyway, and since the programs they’re running at the library are all so good, we made sure to actually write them in the calendar and schedule the rest of our non-camp days around it.  Today was a magic show, and it was spectacular–I think my teen and I giggled more than the kids, and the whole room was PACKED with folks.  Such a sweet treat to take these three, who have been on top of each other and struggling to get along, and see them lined up, front row, side-by-side, excited to watch a silly man from the north of England make balloon animals and lame Harry Potter jokes.  We had the best time.

So that’s our update so far this vacation.  I’m hoping most of the rest of it includes a lot more swimming at the pool and sewing clothes for myself–cross your fingers for me!

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  • jane Boutwell
    June 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    So…. granted, I’m not seeing it all in person, but I totally think you pull off the Lizzy House fabric with that rug and solid colored neutral furniture. You LOve it in a way you can’t love a solid neutral curtain– GO for it!! The reddish orange accents in the LH fabric would totally go with the rug (which is a great choice by the way). Fingers crossed for your garment sewing… if I can ever finish my (over due -yikes!) teacher gifts, then I am going to do some Chanin style reverse applique on a new favorite knit dress.

    • Deborah
      June 6, 2012 at 8:35 am

      I think I’m just concerned that it’s starting to feel a little feminine/beachy, in a way that I didn’t anticipate and think it might be better to avoid. I loooove the beach, but I don’t want that room to make me hear ukeleles every time I walk in, you know? I’m thinking a textured cream curtain, and then we bring in the Lizzy House fabric as a pair of giant floor cushions–the sofa and armchair aren’t enough room for really quality movie-watching, so I think a couple of 30″ square floor pillows are in order–because you’re totally right, the persimmon-y tone in the LH is just the same color as the rug (and the stripe in the other bar stool slip cover I made), so I think we *need* that fabric in the room. But maybe not 149″ worth of 8-foot drapes–the windows are huuuuge.

      Meanwhile, I’m still eyeing your chickens and doing the math for when I can get some, too! 🙂

      • jane Boutwell
        June 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm

        That really is a mighty big window! Glad to hear the fabric will still get to hang out with the rug 😉
        If you ever want to do more than eye our chickens let me know– It would almost be like visiting a petting zoo, a perfect summer excursion for the kiddos!

  • Sarah@Neoteric.Traditional
    June 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    A lot of the libraries in ATL area have magicians this time of year, it’s a lot of fun. We saw Ken Scott (DeKalb) yesterday and Professor Whizzpop (Fulton) today. On Monday Fulton has The Glitter Queen (not really a magician but there are a couple of tricks). She is a favorite, but I don’t think we can go to that one. There are always great library programs on the north side.

    • Deborah
      June 6, 2012 at 8:36 am

      I didn’t even think to look at the schedules outside our home library! We just looked at the list for our local branch and added those dates. I’ll have to pull up the website and see if there are some Zoomobile visits and things like that we can squeeze in–thanks for the idea! 🙂

  • simple simon and co
    June 6, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Here’s to hoping the tantrums ends 😉 And to finished cabinets…..those will be a joy to look at!