April 30, 2009 by Stephanie O'Dea
Every year right around this time, I get an itch and become super eager for summer time. I want to be out more than in, I want to play more than work, and I want my kids home. I get impatient with rules and I-should-reallys and daydream about gardening and swimming and reading and playing and daydreaming. yup. I daydream about daydreaming. I love daydreaming. and napping.
We don’t have any elaborate plans for the summer, and are staying close to home. I haven’t signed the kids up for any classes or camps, and other than BlogHer, we don’t have any travel plans.
it’s going to be lovely. I think. I hope. I’m going to have to check back in August when I’m tired and hot and cranky.
The kids and I planted a bunch of new flowers surrounding the front walkway last week, and around the front yard tree. I love the circle of flowers around the tree, it reminds me of a pixie circle, and if I allow myself I can see little fluttery beings living under the colorful petals and leaves, collecting dew drops to make secret potions and magical elixirs.
Yesterday afternoon we tackled the backyard, and purged the existing flower bed to make room for a teeny vegetable garden. I had already chicken-wired the bottom of the bed last summer thanks to a VERY. COURAGEOUS. gopher who taunted me pretty much daily before I wised up and put in the wire. He’s moved on to the lawn now. He may accidentally be killed with a pick ax. Soon.
Our backyard now boasts seven 4-inch plants: 3 types of tomatoes, a watermelon, a green bell pepper (totally wanted a red one, but the garden supply store was out and the kids insisted they’d eat the bounty, and I bought it even though I know they were completely lying because it was on sale and I had another foot to fill), an eggplant, and the cutest little corn plant I ever did see. We also planted some pea and corn seeds. Kernels? Pods? whatever the dried peas and corn are called.
I hit the school supply store with my youngest yesterday and through an act of extreme restraint I didn’t buy everything in sight, and instead decided on workbooks from the Never Bored books—a series I hadn’t seen before. I got one for 7-8 year olds, and one for 4-5 year olds. I usually do the Summer Bridge books, but the kids get terribly bored after about 3 days, and I get annoyed and then I get annoyed at myself for getting annoyed. It’s a vicious cycle. This Never Bored seems to be what I was looking for—the activities don’t seem “schoolish” but involve problem solving and creative thought. My 4-year-old has done 6 activities in the past two days, though, so it doesn’t look like it will last the whole summer. I also got each kid a blank writing journal with appropriately-spaced lines.
My four-year-old BABY! dragged out the reading book, and we did 5 of the lessons last night in under 10 minutes. I guess it’s time to do it for reals.
And we hit the library. I had asked Karen a few weeks ago for some grown-up book suggestions, and she started a thread on BlogHer with some ideas. I printed out the list, and headed to the library. I wasn’t able to find all the books listed, but checked out a few that excited me. I have wanted to read The Poisonwood Bible for quite some time, but didn’t carve out the time to so. I’m about 100 pages in, and so far I’m liking it, although I find the jumping from character to character a bit annoying. I really like Kingsolver, though, and am pretty sure if I find a peaceful corner of the couch I’ll get sucked in and not want to walk away. Adam and I took a literature class together in college (back when we picked out classes together. calculus cured me of this romanticism.) and we were assigned The Bean Trees. boy I loved that book.
We checked out Old Town in the Green Groves which is totally tripping me out. It’s a “lost” Little House on the Prairie book, written by an author who pieced it together from reading unpublished journal entries Laura Ingalls Wilder let behind, chronicling two years that take place between On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Sliver Lake. I’ve read the kids the books up through Little Town on the Prairie, and we were excited to go back and read about Laura when she was 8-10 years old. In the second chapter, Caroline (Ma) gives birth to a baby boy, Charles Frederick (Freddie). Nine chapters later, he dies, at age one. I had NO idea there was another baby in the family. Laura never mentioned him in the other books, and now I want to learn more. This book doesn’t say how he died, just that he did, and where he was buried.
The Television (insert creepy dum dum dum music). In past years, I’ve canceled the cable (we acutally have satellite, but whatever) for the summer and we don’t watch any tv other than DVDs. We’ve already cut back on our cable (DISH) package due to the economy (I hate that phrase) so we’re already not watching much as it is. I don’t know what’s holding me back from going cold-turkey this year, but I think it might have something to do with The View and Oprah, which is probably not something I should share out loud. But I feel like they’ve been better this year! And I get to sit and drink coffee and veg while I fold laundry! ugh. I’m still decidering.
That said, I do like TV series on DVD and could actually use a new one, if anyone has any ideas. In the past few years, Adam and I have cranked through the following (and loved them):
The Wire, Veronica Mars, The West Wing, Commander in Chief, Arrested Development, Weeds, Entourage, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
We just finished the last Weeds Netflix has to offer last night. There is nothing in the queue. It’s kind of depressing.
So those are our summer plans, or lack thereof. What about you? Big plans? Staying close to home? Any DVD recommendations?
Turtle and Skittles are enjoying the overgrown grass and fresh air, too.