Mid-July???? Seriously???

nd2I give up. Time just speeds by. I feel like I’m busy. In fact, I am busy. But when I look at the calendar it’s obvious that I have been sitting on my thumbs for about two years.  Wasn’t I just in Paris?

We’re on a rowing break which is kind of awesome. Andy is doing some kind of strength/conditioning camp thing two days a week. Compared to three hours a day six days a week, that’s a cake walk. He continues to search for a summer job – so many places only hire people 18 and older. In the meantime, he’s been picking up odd jobs when he can.

With the rowing break, I thought things would slow down a bit. When it was still relatively cool, I started painting the shutters on the house. I WILL finish them tomorrow. I don’t mind climbing the mountainous ladder – I just mind the news people tell me it’s going to feel like 105 when I’m up there. Who does that help? No one.

Before I could finish the shutters, we ran into lots of rowing. Then . . . who knew? We became party people. Graduations, birthdays, it’s Saturday – all kinds of parties. Up front, it’s kind of fun to finally be in the “cool” group. Only took me 52 years and what’s cool has changed quite a bit over the years. Anyway – we’ve been eating and drinking our way through Orlando and we’re going to continue for the next week or two.

I’m mostly excited that Danny will be coming home on Thursday. He’s only been to this house once before. Weird, huh? I got to see him back in December but Mike and the brothers have not seen him for over a year. I’m so, so, so, thrilled to have all six of us together. We’re all pretty excited. Since he’s missed the past two Thanksgivings with us, we’re hosting a Thanksgiving-in-July cookout.  My sister is even coming with 2/3 of her kids!  (If you have food ideas, please share in the comments!!!) I think we’ll have between 25-35 people. If I haven’t officially invited you and you’re in Orlando – you’re invited July 15 around 4:30.

finallogo jpgIn other news, I’ve started a new side business – Overalls Overhauls. I have spent so much time over the past (yikes!) 25 or so years redoing furniture, and I LOVE  doing it, that I thought I might as well start selling the stuff instead of cramming my own house full of “just one more adorable” whatever.  To my Facebook friends, I apologize. So much of this is a GIANT learning curve for me. I’m getting it now and soon I should have my personal and my business pages working independently.  If you’re on Instagram, I will apologize in advance – that’s next week’s project.

Hope all is well in your worlds.


Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

I hope that those of you who celebrate Christmas had a wonderful holiday. We definitely did. As usual for our family, there were some bumps and bruises along the way, but the beauty of having older kids is that nothing is as tragic as mom might try to make it. 

We discovered on Christmas Eve, a few egg nogs into the party and far too late to do anything about it, that we were missing a BIG box from Amazon.  (I have stuff shipped to the warehouse and have never really checked anything beyond the tracking info online in the past 15 years.)  Ummm . . . that would be the box containing EVERY single thing Ian was getting this year.  The box also held my brother’s gifts.  Fortunately, we  were at my parents’ house and I happen to have one of the smartest moms in the world.  We printed out pictures of my brothers gifts and wrapped them up big.  He did not cry or anything. 

When I got home, I wrapped the gifts of my three “favorite” children and then headed to my printer to print out Ian’s virtual Christmas and wrap that up.  Lucky Ian, I did find a pack of boxer shorts that I was able to wrap and stick in his stocking so he had one real thing to open Christmas morning.  But, it was all good.  Ian, who had received gifts the night before, was fine with his virtual Christmas.  No tears, no drama.  (Okay, well, except on my part – I was sooooo disappointed!)  

Other than that, we had a lot of fun at my parents on Christmas Eve and then again on Christmas Day. I had all my kids at home. I have my parents and brother close.  I miss my sister, but she’s in town now so I get everything.  And, then, to live in a neighborhood where everyone is so nice and fun is just icing on the cake. Christmas could not have been much better.  Our one mean neighbor did not even call the police! 

Boredom . . . never admit to it!

After all of these years, you’d think I would learn to keep it to myself when I am feeling restless, unchallenged and bored.  But, I never do.  After a week or so of basking in my blah, I FINALLY had a whole set of projects lined up and things to do and all of that.  I also asked Mike if he would mind scraping the grout out of the tub in the boys’ bathroom (been meaning to ask that forever) as it was gross and the sound of a razor blade on the ceramic makes my skin crawl.  
And, I went off on my merry way scouting for useful things for my useless projects and to pick up some new grout.  I came home to find Mike looking “not happy.”  I should have asked him about the grout way back in forever-ago.  The drywall and some of the wood behind the shower/tub is moldy (no wonder I couldn’t keep that stupid area clean) so it’s all got to come out.  :::sigh:::: 
Until we get it all fixed, we will all be sharing the same 5 x 8 bathroom off of our bedroom.  Yay.  Dan will be home in  1 1/2 weeks.  Double Yay – an extra person. ; ) Honestly? I am just happy we live in a house with two bathrooms!!!!  
As we’re tearing out the old, I’m considering the new. There is NO budget. We cannot replace the nasty old tub so we’re going to work around it.  I loved this idea (picture, left).  We won’t be that cool – no track lights or candles in the shower, but it’s kind of fun.  Makes me think of going with a mostly black and white bathroom, a pendant light over the sink (industrial-ish) and bright colors in the towels and stuff.  Now, what to write in the shower? Any ideas?  We’re working with a much smaller (probably 1/2) area.  Any other ideas – preferably cheap ones as we had not planned on this AT ALL.
And, because I’m here and too tired to make a new post, here are some cute pictures from this past weekend that I do not want to lose:
While I sometimes hate my house and wish for more space and fancier whatevers, I do like our neighborhood.  I love that the kids congregate outside and figure out ways to entertain themselves without adults and in a way that includes even the youngest of them.  This is not all the kids, but a typical scene.  (The sad, colorless house in the background belongs to our mean neighbor.  I am currently fighting the urge to go sprinkle wildflower seeds over her lawn.  Just some color, please?) 
 More of the same.  The kids are playing in front of our house now.  Behind them is what we call “the island” that separates the two sides of the road.
Gee?  Think they’re related?
Andy and Tim look more like twins than Tim and his twin, Ian, do!  And, strangely, Ian and Danny look more alike.  Go figure. (I’m not sure what’s up with Mike’s eye in this picture.) 

No matter what side of the family the boys landed on, they did not stand a chance in the nose department, though!  😉 

Happy Easter Monday?

I feel like time is just flying by here and I never get a chance to catch my breath or to sit down and write these days!  
Although, even when I think about it, there’s not much to write.  We’re pretty boring lately.  I will say, for those of you who read news sites on a regular basis, I have been in Sanford at least three times over the past four days and there are NO nazis running around.  In fact, it’s just like regular old Sanford where I’ve always shopped and where I have never felt threatened.  I think most people are just living their lives and trying to do their best like we all do.  That’s all.  It’s rare that I live so close to something always in the news and I thought I’d toss out my own report – all seems normal.  I hope it stays that way. 
Hope everyone had a nice Passover, Easter or just a nice a weekend.  We did.  We’re lucky to live in Florida.  Yesterday, the neighbors opened up their pool and we all brought snacks and children willing to dive into frigid water.  The dads and at least one grandma sat inside and watched the Masters.  The moms took to lounge chairs with snuggies, sweatshirts and odd sock combinations while the kids turned bluer and bluer.  Believe it or not everyone had fun.  
We got home and started to get ready for our Easter beach day while waiting for Ian and Tim to get home from work so we could dye eggs.  Mike and Andy got the table ready for dying the eggs while I stuck a ham in the oven and started some soup for Sunday night dinner.  We all missed having Danny here.  I keep encouraging Ian and Tim to dig a basement for themselves and stay forever, but they don’t seem that interested.  :::sigh:::: I guess I will continue to cling to Andy and never let HIM grow up.  I see my mistakes in the past – encouraging independence and all of that.  Not for my widdle Andy.  Mike thinks my plan is stoopid, but what does he know?
After the boys went to bed, I continued with my delusional making and hiding of the Easter Baskets (while watching The Godfather! Don’t know why, but I always watch The Godfather on Easter Eve.  Charming, I know.)  Yes, I hid the boys’ Easter baskets and, I’m not nuts.  They were all funny when they got up (not at 5 am, but staggered between 9 and 11 am) and had to search.  No one ever really grows up and I’m not going to encourage it too much.  It’s worked for me so far.  
Mike, up early, early, early per usual, tried a new recipe for poached eggs this morning.  He enjoyed his.  He cooked two for me and stuck them in the fridge for me to reheat when I finally crawled out of bed.  I missed them this morning in our rush to get to the ocean where there is no pollen.  When we got home, I did not have the heart to tell Mike they looked like some kind of mutant oysters – and, I am thinking of oysters that aren’t really oysters but something you might get in cattle country.  ::::GAG::::  The dogs enjoyed them, though.  
We went to the beach.  Ahhhh . . . It was only about 76 today (which I am sure sounds tropical to many of you, but if you live in Florida, this is nearly hot chocolate weather). No matter, I can always breathe at the beach – my nose is clear, I have no cough, it’s just the best feeling in the world.  Mike and the boys spent the whole day in the frigid water.  Me?  I had my book, my jeans and my t-shirt to start. (ugh!  Have any of you read The Glass Castle?  My neighbor gave me her library copy yesterday and that is what I read today.  I’m still not sure what I think.  My overall impression is that it’s like an American version of Angela’s Ashes, but fewer people die.) Isn’t Mike handsome – even if he is wearing his rocket-nerd shirt?
The longer I sat there in the ocean breeze, the colder I got. I broke down and got my huge sweatshirt out of the car. So there I sat, like a big freak amongst all the Canadians in bikinis and my own polar bear family, in my sweatshirt, jeans and wishing I had socks.  Guess who came home with the worst sunburn?  Yep.  My face and my neck are lobster red – I used sunscreen 3 x’s, but I’m thinking it might be old sunscreen.  It’s only a matter of years until I look like a piece of human jerky.  

(I’m stealing pictures from Tim’s camera because I’m lazy and he’s a much better photographer!)

Reverse prom?

Last night, Mike, me and two other couples from our neighborhood were lucky enough to be invited to the wedding of friends of ours.  Like most people with kids and a small budget, getting dressed up and going out for a wedding + dinner and dancing is a big deal.  We were all excited for the evening.  
We paid Dan, Tim and Ian to serve as sitters for the younger kids and to be our chauffeurs.  Our Suburban holds eight,  The wedding and reception were within 10 minutes of the house.  And, as it was the first time in about four years that we’ve all gone out together we decided it was worth paying the boys to drive us safely to and from our destination. I think it ended up being a good lesson for the boys as well. (This picture is of our across the street neighbors – Paul and Preston’s parents – aren’t they cute?)
What a fun wedding!  Steve and Terry have both been married before and they have been dating for several years.  The past six months have been rough on both of them.  Steve’s mom passed away unexpectedly a few months ago.  Terry’s mom died after a long illness just six weeks ago.  Since her mom’s death, Terry struggled with pneumonia.  She was a tall, thin woman to begin with and I was surprised to see how much weight Terry had lost yesterday.  Still, Terry was a beautiful bride.  The ceremony was just lovely with Terry’s adult daughter and Steve’s 13 year-old daughter participating. 
There were about 100 people attending and we all had so much fun during the reception eating and drinking and dancing and sharing stories.  It was like playing a real life Kevin Bacon game – how many degrees are you separated from the bride and groom?  It’s funny what you can learn about people during these kind of conversations.  Mike says it’s not the conversations but that people just like to tell me stuff, either way, it’s fun. 
The wedding was at 3:30 and we were there until around 7 pm.  Dan came and picked us up and we headed to a funky local place.  Dan dropped us off and we told him we would call for a ride home. Dan handled us all very nicely and barely rolled his eyes  as the backseat drivers shouted advice as he drove.

While at the funky local place, we ran into a dozen Caroling Elvises (with bee-hived girlfriends no less) raising money for a local hospital. How fun is that?  We danced.  We laughed.  And then we pooped out and came home.  All the kids slept here last night, as they were mostly crashed anyway. A few years ago, I would have said our neighbors owe us, but eh, our kids are all old enough that we usually have to wake them up anymore. No big deal.  Mike is always up early and I could hear him out in the kitchen laughing and making pancakes for breakfast with the littlest guy – who in the end opted for cereal lol, while I snuggled back under the covers and slept in – Mike is my favorite.

All in all, it was a truly fun evening.  Normally, when we all get together at someone’s house, we’re in sweats or shorts or (if you’re me) overalls.  No make up.  No earrings.  No cologne.  Last night was different.  I had forgotten how handsome Mike is when he wears a suit and, apparently, Mike had forgotten I had legs.  Huh.  We all talked about how we’ll have, between all of our kids, eight weddings coming up eventually/possibly. Who knows, by then we might all know the music and line dances? Or not. Probably not.  😉 
Before we left, I got a chance to talk to the bride.  I asked her how she had managed to keep her strapless dress up after losing so much weight.  She gleefully reached down the front of her dress and started pulling out t-shirts.  Yep.  Reverse prom indeed.  As we were waiting for my son to pick us up, the “queen of the prom” was unstuffing her bra and we were all laughing hysterically.  It got even funnier when she pulled out (beyond the multiple t-shirts) a random paper towel and a piece of foil.  Ahhhh, it’s nice to have funny friends.
I’m going to stick some pictures in here.  As you can see, I have relied too heavily on my sons for good pictures AND my camera kind of sucks.  I have no business behind or in front of a camera, but I promised pictures to my mom and others. 

Bob Seger is old!!!!!

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I’m sure, but we have awesome neighbors!  Our neighbor that works for the radio stations stopped by Friday night to offer Mike and the boys tickets to a local event, Orlando Calling.  Ian and Tim had looked into attending this on Saturday, but the tickets were well out of their budgets.  They were so thrilled and our neighbors are thrilled with their new indentured servants.  Ian, Tim and a friend went to this event Saturday and had a great time – you know it was a good time because they came home SHOUTING to me what a good time they had and could I believe how EXPENSIVE a piece of pizza was?
Sunday, it appeared, was a day for older folks with the likes of Bob Seger and Chris Rock and Dwight Somebody.  Mike was excited.  Mike also knew he was on his own.  I hate concerts.  I hate the crowd.  I hate not being able to see anything and did I mention how much I hate the crowd?  So, Mike was on his own to find a “date” for the concert.  He had it all planned out.  Ian had an Eagle Scout fundraising thing in the morning.  Mike planned on coming home for a quick lunch and then a power nap and then a night of musical fun topped off by Bob Seger.  Now, Mike has seen Bob Seger many times in concert, but that was back when he was in his late teen’s and 20’s.  Mike called around.  As Bob Seger did not go on until 9:30, most of his friends begged the late hour – ::::sigh:::: how is it we hang out with a bunch of 80 year olds?  Finally, Mike found a concert buddy among our scout friends.  
Fast forward to 12:30.  Mike came in.  I was sitting here writing my incredibly bad November novel.  I asked how it was as Mike slammed peanut butter and some bread together.  “Bob Seger is REALLY old.”  And, with that, he stomped off to bed.  I felt so sad for Mike.  When I talked to Mike this morning, he was okay with it all.  He said the concert was actually pretty good, but, Bob Seger is still old.  Ya think?

Guess I won’t be getting Mike the new Tony Bennett cd for Christmas.

This week’s ride on the crazy train . . .

It’s still only (just) Thursday, but once again, the crazy has invaded my world. (Because, you know, my world is not crazy enough with me in it? If you doubt me, see my previous post.)
Football season has started.  I don’t mind A football game. I lose patience with multiple TV’s (2 in our case) playing different games and 1-2 of those TV’s are re-playing games from the 70’s and 80’s. (Mike swears it’s the equivalent to me re-watching Little House on the Prairie, but he’s wrong.) I’m sure all the football announcers are nice in person, but WHY are they allowed to talk? Why do they get paid to talk? They’re not the most articulate group of people. Add their voices to Mike and the boys – ummm, no thanks.
But, I’m outnumbered here. I tend to gravitate to the porch or to the garage (if I have laundry) to listen to my audiobook and knit my ugly scarves.  Last night, I was knitting an ugly scarf and listening to a weird book that I still have not decided if I like or not and doing tons of laundry (Scout has become *ahem* leaky since starting the prednisone – so glad we do not have carpet anywhere in the house.  But, I’m going through towels like crazy . . .AND the prednisone is working – Scout is no longer trying to gnaw off her tail or legs, so yay!)
It was about 8:30 pm.  I was coated in bug spray, laundry rolling, curled up in my favorite outside chair and knitting like the yarn-spaz I am. (Honestly, it was 90 degrees at 8:30 and I’m knitting a scarf?????)  Scout and Cally usually follow me so they were at my feet, enjoying the story as it unfolded.  Suddenly, they were both up barking and wagging their tails furiously.  (Yes, it does make me feel safe.) 

A family of five – mom, dad, girl, boy and dog – were taking a walk through the neighborhood. I’ve never seen them before, but they were friendly as I explained that our dogs were okay and the electric fence would keep them in our yard. I like to think of it as my “Move along, ‘friends,'” speech. However, I was thwarted by the little boy who asked about the fence and I explained to him how it was underground and that the dogs’ collars gave them a warning beep and that they were not hurt by the fence. I also explained how it was mean to tease them from the other side of the fence. 

The mom (who reminds me of someone well-known, but I cannot for my life figure out who) asked if she could step inside the “fence” to pet Scout as Scout reminded her of a dog she had when she was growing up.  I said sure and called Scout and asked Scout to sit.  Scout is amenable to attention.  Honestly, this took only 30 seconds.  I turned around to tell the mom that Scout was there and the mom was gone.  Oh wait.  No she wasn’t.  She was splayed across my driveway semi-shouting at me “I know how to do this.”  
“Do what?” Was the first thought that passed through my mind.  “Why is this woman sprawled in my filthy driveway?” was my next thought.  Scout was looking at me, mirroring my thoughts.  Scout does not suffer fools.  Cally, noting the woman in our driveway (mind you, the rest of her family had continued walking) and ran over and started licking her face.  Scout wandered over, you know, like an older sibling does when his little brother finds his “FAVORITE” Happy Meal toy that he hasn’t played with in five years????  
Meanwhile . . . this woman is still flopped in my driveway, talking to my dogs.  Honestly, I was just out to do some laundry and knit and avoid football.  I like knowing my neighbors and I don’t want anyone to be afraid of our dogs, but this seemed above and beyond!!!! WhyTheFace??? In my head this all went on for at least twenty minutes, but it was probably more like 5 minutes – my dogs are smart, but they don’t have HUGE attention spans, even for strange women rolling around our driveway.  
Finally, the woman’s husband and kids rounded back and told her they were going home. She hopped up.  She thanked me for allowing my dogs to bless her evening. I’m an idiot, I said, “Sure, anytime.”  Really, I said that.  I’m glad she left happy, but really???? This woman had a perfectly lovely dog that was part of her own family. But, no, I said “Sure, anytime.”  Do they all have to come to me? How do they find me?
As soon as the family left, Tim, Ian and Andy were outside asking me about them.  I just stared at them.  “You saw all of that and left me out here on my own?”  They were laughing too hard to respond.  Finally, Tim said, “They come for you, Mom, not us.”  Gah.  I’m afraid to do laundry now.

So there, go on with your day appreciating the normal.  😉

Goodwill Hunting, July 2011

Ian joined me this afternoon in a thrift store prowl.  I was on the hunt for shirts for myself that did not involve paint stains or food stains. Yes, I am a snob.  Mostly, I was looking for stuff  Dan needs to go off to college in a stylish, well-equipped, yet cheap fashion.  Ian was looking for art supplies – especially cheap, good paper for his sketches.  Have I ever shown you guys one of his drawings?  If not, I’m sticking one I like here in the post – okay it’s not a drawing, but you get what he’s kind of doing, right? I think he’s good and getting better – especially for someone whose only formal education in art thus far is working through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain a few years ago with me and his brothers.  Trust me, none of us was producing this kind of work back then (or even now, if you have to ask).  
Ian is a great traveling/shopping partner.  He talks if he has something to say, but much of our day was spent in a comfortable silence.  Ahhh.  I found a couple of cute shirts at the first store.  Ian didn’t find much.  We moved to the next thrift store.  Score!!! I found a in-the-box-brand-new-set of Corelle dishes for Dan.  They were marked $14, but it was half-off-housewares day!  Woohoo!!!  So finding the brand-new ice cream maker machine for $14 felt like a super-duper bargain.  We have all the stuff to make Heath Bar stuffed Vanilla ice cream in waffle cones tomorrow.  :::sigh::: So happy.
When we got home, Mike was just finishing up helping a neighbor hang a tall, heavy light fixture in their vaulted living room.  Mike told me all the details.  I came away with swimming, snacks and beer in an hour.  It’s all good. We had a great time visiting and going in and out basking in the glow of the new light fixture.  We had a better time drinking beer and swimming and lamenting the lack of any sort of breeze.  Aside from the one neighbor, we live in a really awesome neighborhood.  
Now, I’m trying to catch up on laundry. Soooo much laundry.  I’m listening to Under the Dome (yes, I’m on a Stephen King kick).  I read the book last summer and I’m enjoying it again – the reader for this book is really  pretty good!  He’s no Jim Dale, but he’ll do.
Tomorrow?  Mike and the boys are off super-early to catch waves at the beach.  I’m sleeping in and getting up to make ice cream and something for dinner.  To fill in the empty spaces, both dogs need a bath and I’m certain there will still be more laundry.  It’s also probably time to cut down my morning glory/moon flower vines as well.  I hate August in Florida – all the pretty, colorful things die for a bit.  I like green, but August always makes me feel like I’m living in a terrarium.    

How has your weekend been?

It’s a lie.

PhotobucketIt’s a lie when you say you don’t have a favorite child – unless, of course you have one child.  That doesn’t mean the “favorite” is set in stone.  Around here it changes hourly.  

Today, Andy (see how cute he was a mere 7-8 years ago?) is my favorite.  We’ve been hosting Andy’s best friend’s brother who has been suffering from a horrible allergic reaction to “something” for the past two days. He was in no shape to go to summer camp.   

The poor little guy is covered head to toe with a rash that swells and gets itchy if he’s too active.  Ummmm . . . he’s six. They’re always too active. So he’s been swollen and itchy for the past two days. 

I always wondered how Andy would be if we had had another baby.  Now I know.  He’s kind and sweet and funny.  He taught Preston how to play “Chest,” yes, the rest of us know it as chess, but Chest is too funny to correct. Andy and Preston watched some Sesame Street, some Pengoo (sp?) and something called Shawn the Sheep. Andy is my hero.  By the end of the day, Preston was  tired but looking and feeling much better.  Woohoo!  I know his mom and dad are exhausted after five almost sleepless nights.  Andy, too, was exhausted.  He’s used to being the recipient of patience from his brothers . . . go ahead, everyone, hugs all around.

And, if you have a favorite, you most likely have a least favorite. Tonight, that son would be Ian. We just had a conversation. Ian is funny and smart, but he does not appreciate getting old yet. First off, I handed him a tube of Clearisil I picked up at the store as he headed to the shower.  I suggested he stop in and rub some on Andy’s forehead. Ian suggested that was creepy and weird and Andy wasn’t old enough for pimples. I agree. I think Andy’s pimples are mostly sweaty hair and bike helmets, but waaahhh he’s awfully close to REAL pimples. I shared that with Ian and he just smiled and said, “Just think in a few years we’ll all be gone. It’ll be you dragging Scout around in our old wagon, reminding Dad of what he started out to do.” Thanks.

I thought he was heading to the shower when the giant calendar on the door caught his attention.  Absentmindedly, he said, “Wow, Dan is going to be gone really soon.”  So now we have pimples on my baby and my oldest LEAVING.  Nice.  I suggested, gently, that he head to the shower.  As he was walking off he said “Can you believe Harry Potter will be all done in just two days?”  Like a knife through my butter-like heart.  Yep.  Ian is out of the will.

In other news, our week has been pretty quiet.  Tonight we learned why.  Our new-ish neighbors, on the OTHER side of mean neighbor, have had two visits from code enforcement this week.  Tim offered to cut their lawn until they give up their crazy Northern ways and lose the push mower – the equivalent of cutting your lawn with nail scissors if you live in Florida. Nice she has two houses to watch now, I guess.  I like the new neighbors, though.  

Time to put on my Depends and go to bed.  

Ahhh . . .

It’s nearly ten and NO visits from city officials.  I guess that’s a good night, right?  😉  I barely slept last night. Funny how easily I could do that when I was younger.  Now, I can deal with the lack of sleep, but MAN does it show on my face.  Cucumber slices are not going to make those bags under my eyes go away. Sometimes I hate getting old – not always, but in this instance, I hate it. 

Mike and I are talking about putting in a fence along that side of the yard, but, damn, it’s expensive.  The upside?  We would paint the outside of the fence, facing our mean neighbor’s yard, with some lovely Caribbean colors – we’re leaning toward pink and lime.  Our side of the fence will be planted with bougainvilla.  We’ll see if the money works out – I resent having to spend so much money on something none of us want. But, the thought of a Caribbean fence facing our beige neighbor makes me a little happier than it should.  

The alternative?  I found a website that shows how to build a fence out of wine bottles.  This cracks me up as much as the crazy color fence.  If we go with that option, I’ll let you know because that’s going to be a LOT of wine bottles. (The picture is one idea – the other is to stack and mortar wine bottles like bricks which is more what I’m thinking lol)

I spent this evening doing water aerobics with my neighbors.  Oh my. We have been trying to walk together and then work out.  Tonight was the first night we tried an actual real water aerobics plan.  I think I’m going to be sore tomorrow. Bonus?  The kids were all at my house playing Risk and we had the neighbor’s pool all to ourselves.  That NEVER happens.  Then, as we were finishing up, a huge thunderstorm moved in.  We were trapped at the neighbor’s and the kids were trapped here with Mike.  Bummer.  So, we did what any sane women would do.  We picked a safe spot in the garage and drank wine and watched the storm.  It was a very nice, relaxing night.  Mike and all the boys over here seemed to have a good time too – world domination did not get out of hand and no one was in tears after the storm.  

Over this week, I’ve read the Hunger Games series.  I’m not a huge fan of the “young adult” genre, but this was a seriously entertaining series.  Andy has read the first one, Danny just finished and Ian is starting on book one.  It brings up lots of questions in the kids’ minds and we’ve had some interesting discussions.  It’s violent and parts are a little scary, but I would say a mature 11-12 year old who likes to read could handle it. Just tossing it out there for those of you looking for stuff for your kids to read this summer.  It’s not terribly challenging reading, but it’s straightforward and the storyline is compelling.