Monthly Archives: July 2011

Canoe Race Weekend

Olivia and her friends wait for the race to start on the river’s edge

It is late morning, not a particularly good time to start a post, but this will be brief at least that’s the plan. Sometimes plans change as they did earlier this week and I drove back to the cottage Thursday afternoon instead of early morning arriving just as the kids were coming in from skiing. Continue reading Canoe Race Weekend

So, what is Normal?

Normal, Illinois the sign says it all

I woke up early and took my time getting ready this morning. I am at a conference in, of all places, Normal. That’s right, I ‘m in Normal, Normal Illinois. It’s about 140 miles southwest of Chicago on the road to St. Louis. I came to the same conference last year and walked away with a few ideas on how I could improve my teacher association’s website. I implemented a few and this year I’m back for more. Continue reading So, what is Normal?

Reality is overrated!

Two friends, waiting on the tube

It is getting down to the nitty gritty. I have had 48 days for fun (rest, relaxation, rejuvenation) and I know have 22 days to wrap up all of the things that I wanted to do, needed to do, and absolutely had to do before another school year begins, again. Somehow, I think I have failed, again but in hindsight, I have made progress.

I woke Sunday morning without the benefit of an alarm I just got up and started the day. Evidently, I had set my alarm for 6:00 PM, not AM, and the alarm did not go off for obvious reasons. This is really the best part of the day, I know I sound selfish and I am. I think we all are, to a certain extent. I started to write Sunday morning and did not finish. Continue reading Reality is overrated!

Friday and the past week

Our finished mailbox - ready for postcards, letters, and mail

It is early Saturday morning. The sun has yet to peak over the horizon and all is quiet. Even Ivy has decided it is better to stay in bed and has returned to her place on the floor in our bedroom. It has been a great week – for all of us.

Beth finished planting the mailbox on Monday and it has been a reminder of how beautiful her gardens are at home. It certainly makes a statement at the front of the driveway. After Julie’s letter on Saturday, we received a few more items including a postcard from mom! I’ve been writing and sending postcards all summer and this is the first to arrive, here. It is great to get mail and hear how other folks are spending their summer. Continue reading Friday and the past week


Space Shuttle Endeavor lands for the final time. photo courtesy of NASA

I am bummed. I don’t know about you, but I am disappointed. I got up early this morning to watch the final shuttle landing. It was on a few channels, but I settled on Fox for the last ten minutes of flight. It was commercial free.

I am a space baby. No, I wasn’t born in space; as far as I know, no one has. What I mean is that as long as I have been alive, the United States has been sending men into space and returning them to Earth safely, with only two accidents – Challenger and Columbia. This morning, it ended. I am sad. Continue reading Space

Reading and more reading

Saturday always feels like a Saturday at the cottage. It doesn’t matter that we aren’t following a schedule it still feels like a Saturday. It is time for a few chores and mostly time for recreation. It is also a busy time on the lake. There are more boats and jet skis zipping on the lake, more water skiers, and more noise. You run into more people on the lane, up for the weekend arriving Friday night and leaving, or planning to, on Sunday afternoon. Continue reading Reading and more reading


Yesterday morning, I roused the kids for a run. A group of kids had organized a ‘cottage running club’ and they wanted to go along. Up here, at the cottage, they probably don’t need it with all of the activity packed into their day; swimming, skiing, boating, and just being outside playing. They are far more active here than at home. Nevertheless, I got them up and thirty or so minutes after they left, they tracked back in from their run. They had plenty of time and physical activity ahead in their day. Continue reading Running

Summer Reading

Once again, it’s Ivy and I holding down the fort. We woke early. Actually, she got up after my alarm went off and I followed her out of the room. I could hear her whimpering as I quietly came down the stairs and turned toward the kitchen to start the coffee. I let her outside, where she seemed very interested in the sprinkler system and wanted to sniff around the yard. I stood and watched from the deck and looked out on the lake. I realized that visits from eagles were probably over if I had a dog in the yard but, I’d rather have Ivy.  Last night, before bedtime, the kids asked if I would wake them early, so they go running with the ‘running club’ this morning and I’ll be breaking our solitude shortly. Meanwhile, Ivy lies curled up on her pad sleeping, peacefully. Continue reading Summer Reading

Driving games

William's view in the sideview mirror

Wednesday was a travel day back to the cottage and the traffic and weather couldn’t have been better, clear and sunny all the way, all 350 plus miles. It was great going back to the cottage especially knowing Beth and Ivy would be leaving Versailles and travelling north to meet us.

We started later than I wanted because there were a few items I had forgotten when I went to Trader Joe’s, our family’s main grocery supply. While the storm had not affected our home two of the three closest TJ’s were powerless, sadly they were two of the 500,000 who had lost power in Monday’s storm. We have had two big storms blow through our area this summer packing winds of 60-70 mph both times and parts of Wheaton have lost power, but not us. Somehow, I think we are due. Continue reading Driving games

The Arrow and the Spoon

I am home this morning; I slept in my own bed for the first time in over two weeks. It is good to be home but our visit is short-lived, we’ll be heading back to the cottage tomorrow, leaving early in the morning. It is a long journey for a day but William and I had appointments and a meeting we needed to attend so we made the trip. Today is also the thirty-fifth day of my seventy-day summer break I am half way. I can look at it half-empty or half full, I choose half full as it has been a great summer and there is more to come and accomplish. Today is gonna be a great day. Continue reading The Arrow and the Spoon