So ... what has been happening since May 11, when I took my little hiatus?
Well, my little brother got married. He and his wife were both married previously and had some sad tales to tell. They had a lovely day and a beautiful ceremony and they are deliriously happy. So that was nice. In an awesome bonus, I did NOT get into a hair pulling, scratching, biting fight with my mom's sister, who hates my everlovin' guts. Ignoring evil relative FTW!
Also, my eldest son graduated from 8th grade. They had a simple ceremony at the end of the school's annual awards ceremony and I did not cry. Perhaps I am unsentimental, but I prefer to think of it as "looking forward to all of the cool stuff my kid will learn and do as he grows." It's all in the spin.
In June I made a trip to North Dakota to spend a couple of days with my mom. We attended a lecture by Clay Jenkinson, who portrays my favorite President, Thomas Jefferson, and it was amazing. I highly recommend Clay's Show, The Thomas Jefferson Hour.
And I drove my new car home from North Dakota at the end of that trip. My dad restored it for my mom (who picked the beautiful color) in 1996. They are starting to think about downsizing and moving somewhere warm, and they decided they had better start getting rid of cars. (My dad has a fascination with cars, which I detailed in an album I made for him a few years ago. You can see the inside pages in my gallery at Scrapjazz. Here is a link, but the album starts on page 7 of the gallery just in case the link doesn't work.
And here is the car:
It is gorgeous. I could not love it more.
Of course, in the interest of full documentation I should also add that the fuel pump died on the doggone thing before I'd had it a week. Fortunately the part was under $25 and my awesome husband did the mechanic work to get me up and running again. Could have been worse.
And of course we have been doing the usual home improvement stuff around here lately -- Evan's room is looking very appropriate for a gearhead, and Garrett's room just got its bamboo wall mural and a new oak door, and will get new bifold closet doors (also oak) as soon as I get them stained. Patience, grasshopper.
We spent a lovely few days at our friends' lake cabin in central Minnesota, where all 3 of the boys learned to waterski. That was a highlight. We had a ball. It is so much fun to give my boys a little chance to experience stuff like that. I took my grandparents' lake cabins for granted, and I wish one of them was still left in the family. Having a week every year to hang at our friends' cabin is really a treat.
And, of course, Potter fever hit our house in July, when Evan and I went to the midnight showing of the final harry Potter movie with our friends Tracy and David. The boys dressed up and we all loved the movie. We all love the books even more.
And, speaking of books, I read The Count of Monte Cristo with a couple of friends over the spring and summer. It is 1,200 pages. It was great fun to read with a group again and we are thinking of doing it with more books, although keeping a looser format than a monthly book group. I read it on my Kindle, and cannot love the Kindle more, either. What a great invention.
So ... it wouldn't be my blog without a list, would it? We still have that doggone storage unit from spring 2010, when we put the house on the market. Since then we have gone through a lot of it and it is less than half full, so we hope to clean it all out soon. Plus there are always a million things to do to get ready for school starting, so here is my list for today:
* clean out storage unit by Sept. 30 (in progress as of 8/22)
* finish staining Garrett's closet doors (in progress as of 8/22)
* stain remaining 3 doors for basement (in progress as of 8/22)
I think that's good for now. I am well. My kids are doing great -- they are at UU Chalice Camp this week (Vacation Bible School for UUs). My husband is as handsome, patient and kind as ever.
So I am grateful for the things that stay the same, even as the world and my family change every day.