about a dream: September 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

We had the most amazing summer

I complained all winter long about the cold (and rightfully so, it was brutal), but this summer was just so perfect, I have to note that. Clear blue skies, highs in the 80s, warm nights with gentle breezes... it was just perfect. The pool was in the mid-80s all through July and August, it rarely rained. No better summer ever has, or ever will, pass again.

In mid-August I left the air mattress out on the deck off my bedroom and the girls and I were out nearly every night watching the meteor showers. They put on a great show, and the mosquitoes pretty much left us alone. I wish we'd gotten around to pitching the tent and sleeping out there, or better yet, gone camping, but such is summer. Short and sweet.

We had some fun movie nights, and one night the girls made these:

Ok, so we're kind of falling behind on the spelling. And penmanship... (this is Nina's sign). Here's Maggie's:

Excellent spelling, and the rendition of Big Hero is spot-on.

But this sign of Nina's is SPOT-ON:

Because it was HOT!

Then, there was this. Perfection:

In summer, all u gotta do is:
Dinner out
Get Dirty!
Watch movies at Maggie and Nina's fun theater.

Yup, that sums it up perfectly!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Stone wall photos--finally!

I finished the wall about a month ago; here are some photos at long last!

First, from the front right:

Note how wonderfully level the walls are!

All of the sod is up, but I haven't added any new gravel yet. I'll add some next month, after the stuff already there has a chance to settle down.

Also, some flower pics. This year, I did some succession planting in the front--cosmos sowed among the lilies, to bloom late in the summer, after the lilies had died. Stunning success!

I'll have to get a nice photo of my biceps too. Those stones were heavy!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The bricks...

I never posted a photo of the area off the basement that I bricked earlier this summer with the bricks I pulled up from the old walkway. Here it is:

Look at that level grade. Like a pro!

From the front. I put just regular sand in between the bricks, not the more expensive super sand. It looks so good!

On another note, check this out:

Fried lard bits. OMG, so good. They're going into a dish very soon. There are some things that I've learned from the Austrians that I will be forever grateful for. I believe Nick calls this "grammeln."

Also, no bake cookies have been a regular around here lately. For this recipe, I cut the sugar in half and added slivered almonds. Also a winner. This will be going in the lunchboxes all week, or possibly all year.

Off to hair night. That's the weekly shampoo, brush, and dry ritual. Takes FOREVER.

Back to school!

Better late than never, right?

Here they are, on the first day of fifth and second grades. Adorable!!

All decked out in their new digs, after mom and I took them on an August shopping spree.

The hair. Very on trend. My braiding skills are coming along!

It was my first day too!

Things went really well that first day. The next 8, not so much. Nina had a lot of anxiety about starting fifth grade, and kept coming home with a tummy ache. Monday was labor day, so no school then, and in July I'd scheduled the girls' annual checkups for Tuesday the 8th, so they missed the morning for that. Dr. Feder gave Nina's tummy a clean bill of health, and also thought it was anxiety. She stayed the rest of that day, came home early on Wednesday and Thursday, but then made it all the way through Friday. Fingers crossed that that's the end of it! Mom will volunteer at the book fair on Monday, and I think Nina will be happy knowing that grandma's just downstairs if she needs a hug.

Maggie's been having a great time. Of course, she'd rather be home playing with toys, but seems to have begun to accept school as a necessary evil.

Things are so far, so good for me too. I picked up an Oceanography/Ecology course at the last minute, but I'm liking it. I mean, it's depressing, I've learned all about the miserable state of plastics in the ocean, but the teaching part is going well. What more can you ask for?

In other interesting news, the girls are working as ball girls for the high school girls' soccer team! They really like it. I'm psyched, because we've never done team sports before, but now they're getting a chance to be part of a team, get exercise, and learn about the rules of soccer. Plus, they get paid to do it! I feel like it's the greatest children's sports hack of the year.

As a reward for sticking out all day Friday, and to give them someplace to spend their hard-earned $$ ($10/game each!), we took them to Target, WalMart, and 5 Guys on Saturday. Great day. We ate so much 5 Guys we could barely make it back to the car.

Looming ahead is our first 5 day week. Deep breaths. 170 work days until summer vacation!