Saturday, August 21, 2010

Where Has All the Summer Gone?

So much for the New Year's resolution to blog more or blog more regularly. Here it is August 21, and my last post was on July 9. What's happened since then? Just a few things. Here, in a whirlwind, with photos, is a summary.

It being summer in Central Virginia, we've had storms, some of which have taken trees down. We tried to save the beehive in this tree that came down on the edge of our yard, but were unsuccessful. We couldn't get the tree far enough off the ground, and it didn't take long for ants to invade and take over the hive. If you've never visited us, here's our house, from the rear, in a photo taken from where the tree came down. We've done some cooking out on the deck you can see on the left, which lets us get up close and personal with the regular visitors to the hummingbird feeder there.
Sadly, we said good-bye to our 17-year-old cat, Maxwell II, and to our 14-year-old dog, Marburg. They said good-bye to us within two days of each other and are buried together in the woods beside the house. I miss both of them deeply.

The husband and I went to a wedding in Chicago. Guests were asked to wear festive summer clothing that was pink and/or orange. The husband got by with a tie that had some pink in the paisleys. I used it as an excuse to buy new shoes and a purse handcrafted by a friend in Australia. The shoes are Vibram Five Fingers. I now own three pairs and basically live, including running, in them.

Younger son worked in Pennsylvania for six weeks, but his return brought such exciting things as life imitating art, well, advertising, in seeing if it were possible to cook a frozen waffle using an iron. Guess what ... it is.

Much of my time has been spent re-arranging rooms in our basement. For the six years my mom lived with us, we used one basement room as a combined sewing room and study/office. When the stairs got too much for my mom and she moved into a condo, we got the chance to reconfigure the space. While the basement as a whole remains a work in progress, the first new room, a studio in which I can pursue my creative urges, is done. Here's the view from the door, and here's what it looks like from the back wall. The room outside the studio door, where the empty bookcase is, will be the new study/office. After that will come a guestroom in what used to be the sewing room/office, a library/reading room in what used to be a family room, and a workout room (including the 70-pound hanging bag I got for Mother's Day) in what used to be a sun room. Getting all those configured should see me into fall. Speaking of fall, if you looked closely in the first photo of the studio, you can see the top of one of my "quilts of summer" hanging on the rear wall. The bins of fabric around the sewing machine are contributing to another one. With luck, the next time I post will not be when both of those are finished and ready to be presented.

The husband just reviewed this post and said that I had to explain the fluffy white dog sitting atop the bins to the left of the first studio photo. His high-faluting name, were he real and registered, would be Gruffles Guardian of the Green, though he goes quite nicely by just Gruffles. Fluffy white dogs have been firmly embedded in the family history ever since a Cambodian one bit me. This past week, I tested for and earned my green belt in Myo Sim karate. Rather than just present me with the "legacy" green belt he once wore, elder son handed me said green belt tied around Gruffles and told me I'd have to fight him for it. I did, and Gruffles is now wearing a blue collar in recognition of the blue belt I'm now working toward. In an interesting footnote, while one of the two remaining family cats views Gruffles as just another one of her humans' stuffed animals, the other cat is quite convinced that Gruffles is real to the point that she arches her back and hisses at him before running for cover. Just one more surreal thing that passes for life around here.