This weekend was beautiful around here. Everyone was out doing yard work (which made me grumpy since I can tolerate about five minutes of yard work and then I’m laid up in bed the rest of the day). My neighbor mowed his lawn twice. He needs to get a hobby or I need a taller fence, because it’s only mid-April and he’s really getting on my nerves with the lawn perfection thing. Sometimes I step on his grass even when I don’t need to. Then I hide when he comes out to fluff up the footprint.
I’m seeing pictures of everyone’s landscaping projects on Facebook. My goal is to get the huge, mutant poison ivy off the side of the house. It has already reached the gutter, and I know it’s going to climb in my bedroom window and attack me one night.
It seems like it was only a few years ago that this time of year I was frantically searching for summer camps for the kids. We’ve done the YMCA summer camps with both the kids, but I never felt they were 100% safe or entertained. The year they called (on a day over 100 degrees) to tell me my son, who’d been at the pool several hours, was feverish, listless, and glassy-eyed I rushed right over. When I asked them how much water they’d had the kids drink they looked at me blankly. No more YMCA, thanks. I prefer my kids alive.
Zoo camps are great, Scout camps are freakin’ awesome. Just a reminder, though. Scout camps are staffed by volunteers. Yes, every single person there is a volunteer. Most of them work full-time and are using their vacation time to watch your kid. So if you are signing your kiddo up please sign up to volunteer one day during the week if at all possible.
Drama camps are super-awesome, as are art camps and music camps. There’s just not enough time for the fun stuff during the school day. If you’re lucky your community will have something like Louisville’s Camp Shakespeare. If John didn’t have marching band he’d still be doing that every summer. How much better do you think students do when it comes time to read Shakespeare in school if they’ve actually performed Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, and The Tempest? They rock it. And if you have boys? Swordplay. Wooden swords, but seriously choreographed swordplay.
Summer seems to get shorter every year. So make sure you and your kids aren’t bored out of your minds by mid-July. If there’s no money for vacation (we haven’t been on vacation in eight years) find something fun to do locally. Camp in your backyard. Hit Farmer’s Markets and cook together. Trade off kids with friends so you each get some alone-time with your spouse. Hottest day of the year? Have a movie marathon. Classic, cool stuff your kids have never seen. Think 80’s movies.
Do you have a whiner? An apathetic teen? Someone who just needs to get away from the group they’re running with for a while? Find a friend or family member to ship them off to for a couple of weeks. You’d be surprised how many aunts and uncles and long-distance friends would love to have them! My best friend lives in Atlanta, and they do lots of fun stuff. Our youngest sons are about nine months apart, and she’s asked John to come visit several times. I really wish I’d made that work out. Kids need to see how other people’s families work.
I used to visit my cousins in Lynch, Kentucky. We could walk everywhere. I thought that was super-cool, since I lived in the country and it was a ten-mile drive to town. My older cousins came in to help work on the farm. I loved having them around, because normally I only had my pesky younger brother. Line some things up to make sure the whole family enjoys this summer. If you work full-time and come home exhausted have a plan in place for, “I’m bored.” For the entire family’s mental health make sure you’re all reading or being read to, that everyone’s getting outside and getting some exercise, and that summer break feel different from the rest of the year in more ways than just the temperature!
Anyone who doesn’t get the David Bowie reference in the title needs to go search it on YouTube. I’m not giving you the link, because everyone should know the song. Just like you should be able to name the Beatles. If I had my way, those would be the sort of questions they’d ask adults when assessing orientation after a car accident, after surgery, whatever. Don’t ask me what my name is, because it’s not what’s on my wristband. Don’t ask me what day it is, because it doesn’t matter unless it’s Sunday. (I like to watch the Walking Dead live.) Don’t ask me who the President is because I’m likely to rant, no matter who’s in office at the time. I just think I could do it better.
For the next several months it doesn’t even matter if it’s Sunday, because last Sunday was the Walking Dead finale. Don’t think I’m being blasphemous here, it’s just that since Catholics can go to church on Saturday instead of Sunday it’s not like Sunday is always “church day”. John (my 16yo) and I bond over The Walking Dead, and then The Talking Dead. Chris Hardwick rocks, and I think he should have an after-show for every really intense TV show that airs. Seriously. If there’s someone who needs to be cloned, it’s Chris Hardwick. We probably need one for each state. The Kentucky one would currently be interviewing my mom about UK basketball.
Michael and I set up a new checking account this week. That may not seem like a major thing to many people, but we’ve had the same account with the same people since we moved to Louisville in May of 1988. Thank goodness the lady we talked to had a sense of humor! We’d been with a credit union, which is just fine, but there are some things a credit union can’t do. So we set up our new account, and it’s probably going to take a week to think of every automatic payment or anything else linked to that bank or those debit cards we need to switch over. Thank God for PayPal and their student cards, or we’d be sending John off to New York with only cash. It’s a Spring Break band trip, and they are going to play in Carnegie Hall as well as see a Broadway play. My sons are so much more well-travelled than I am, and I’m glad they are!
I try not to ramble on about Nerium here, but I’m just so proud of our whole team. My sponsor earned her Lexus and got a big bonus, one of my Brand Partners ranked up and got a bonus, and both of my other Brand Partners got their products free for the second month in a row! Oh, and I ranked up twice, earned two bonuses, and amongst several others took one order (literally) in my sleep. Michael is finally convinced this was a good idea! BTW, our next rank-up will include a Lexus. I’m not much of a car person – if it gets me from here to there and the radio works I’m fine – but I took a few for a “test-sit” and I swear they’re as comfortable as my bed!
I love Spring and Fall, but after four cervical spine surgeries my neck does not. It’s been a tough week pain-wise. Thankfully, when I went to my doctor to get my prescription and we were chatting about dogs, as usual, I mentioned my hot flashes. Mind you, I was just making conversation. I have a GYN I talk to about that sort of thing, and I have no intention of taking any hormone replacement since my mom had a mastectomy and chemo after a nasty breast cancer. But he was all excited, and gave me a month’s worth of a non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes. I told him my husband might be stopping by to kiss his feet if it worked. Poor Michael’s about to lose fingers and toes to frostbite at night while I’m still sweat-soaked and panting like a dog. I’ll keep you updated.
I follow Wendi Aarons on Instagram, and according to her it’s beautiful in Austin, Texas right now. Gorgeous bluebells blooming everywhere. Of course I wouldn’t know, since my eldest is not responding to my or Michael’s texts. I got a lovely response from his sweet wife, Catherine, and I’m sure I’d get a response from my grand-dog, Tabby if she had opposable thumbs. I follow her doggy daycare on Facebook in hopes of catching a glimpse of her. I’ve also seen tweets from Aaron, just not to me. So I assume he’s alive and well, but who really knows? #bitchymom
Everyone have a wonderful, happy Easter! It’ll just be me and Michael this year since John’s on his way to New York and Aaron and Catherine are in Austin. Maybe I’ll bake some dog treats, put them in eggs, and let Sam and Boss have an Easter Egg hunt! Or maybe we’ll just sleep in and watch Jesus Christ Superstar. ARGH! Previews of the empty nest to come!
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