Tag Archives: leisure

Wrapping Up the Summer and the Bucket List

IMG_1476

Well, today marked my first day back at work so I am officially closing out the “2016 Summer Bucket List.” All things considered, I think I did fairly well. Out of the 25 items on the list, I was able to complete 14. That’s over half so I’m good with that. Several items will carry over to next summer, (I will go zip lining, one of these summers, darn it!!) and hopefully our annual camping trip won’t be canceled by a stomach bug again next year so items #9 and #10 will still make an appearance. 

The one item I think I will remove permanently is #17-“Plant and maintain an herb garden.” This is the second summer that idea crashed and burned or rather shriveled and died. While the notion of having fresh herbs at my finger tips is appealing, I just don’t have the green thumb required.

So, adios Summer Bucket List. You have served me well by keeping me focused and active through out the long hot summer. Now it’s time to get back to work.

I’ll meet you here again next year…😊

 

THE 2016 SUMMER BUCKET LIST

1. Take at least six day trips (parks, beach, etc)⭐️⭐️⭐️
2. Drive over a bridge. (c)⭐️
3. Repaint the living room walls
4. Travel some where by train
5. Ride a train into the city (c)
6. Create at least six art projects ⭐️⭐️⭐️
7. Visit at least 2 museums
8. Take care of some “self maintenance” by catching up on yearly physicals and dentist visits (c)⭐️⭐️
9. Go camping
10. Go canoeing or kayaking
11. Have at least six lunch dates with friends or family⭐️⭐️⭐️
12. Go zip-lining (c)
13. Walk on the beach⭐️⭐️
14. Have a picnic somewhere next to the water
15. Have a romantic get away with my Hubby⭐️
16. Clean out and reorganize the laundry room⭐️
17. Maintain my newly planted herb garden and use the herbs often (c)
18. Attend the theater at least three times (films or plays)⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
19. Reorganize the upstairs closet⭐️
20. Touch up the paint on the kitchen cabinets⭐️
21. Finish organizing and labeling our family tree and photos
22. Visit a local winery and enjoy a wine tasting.⭐️
23. Listen to some live music, preferably outdoors ⭐️⭐️⭐️
24. Go dancing with my Hubby⭐️
25. Have a “”Lord of the Rings” / “Hobbit” marathon with Miss D

If We Were Having Coffee…9/4/16

image

Welcome! Come in! Let me get you some coffee. It’s fresh and hot and rather strong (sorry, that my coffee MO) and we have some donuts from the local supermarket to go with. Hubby hasn’t had much time to bake so I’m afraid there aren’t any homemade goodies to share. Maybe next time.😊

If we were having coffee…on this brilliant Sunday morning I would suggest we raise our mugs and offer a toast to the last weekend of my summer break. (BOO and YAY!) As you can see, I have mixed feelings on the subject. While I am getting a teeny bit bored and longing for a bit more of a routine, I hate the idea of  forcing myself to go to bed at a certain time and dragging myself back up at 6:15 every morning. On the plus side, I will be getting a paycheck again. Our summer savings account is evaporating quickly and it is time to start adding instead of subtracting.

Like the man said “All good things must come to an end.” It has been a fun summer and I managed quite a few things on my Bucket List thanks to that last minute surge in motivation I found last month. I still didn’t manage to get to a museum, though, (you win that one Cindy!) I do love my job and I am looking forward to catching up with my coworkers and the amazing kids at the school so I guess that’s my silver lining.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that I missed last week’s coffee post because my weekend was consumed with kitten duty! If you recall, we discovered two tiny black kittens in our back yard a few weeks ago. There was a third grey kitten and a momma as well but we were only able to get the black male ones to trust us. They were obviously the rebel  brothers of the family, ready to make friends with the local humans. It turned out to be lucky too, because momma kitty stopped coming around all together and these little guys were left on their own.

Steve, the vocal brother...

Steve, the vocal brother…

We set up a nice little apartment in the garage for them (I was afraid to let them near Jack and Chrissy untill I had them checked at the vet). D-man’s step mom, who has rescued countless stray cats in her time, helped me bathe them in Dawn dish soap, which according to the vet, safely takes care of fleas on kittens that young and loaned me various itmes to make their stay more comfortable.

Bucky, the quiet cuddlier...

Bucky, the quiet cuddlier…

They were SO sweet and clever, purring their way into everyone’s hearts! Miss Dee named them Steve and Bucky (Captain America fans will get it) and introduced them to all of her friends who, of course, fell in love immediately. Because they were still so little (about 5 or 6 weeks), they required feeding several times a day. I was mixing kitten food with canned kitten formula (yes, they have such a thing) and they were scarfing it down. I felt like I had a newborn baby again, they were always in the back of my mind…”Are they safe? Is it time to feed them? Are they warm/cool enough? I found myself feeling a little stressed out!

We enjoyed their company for a little over a week and I know that if the perfect home hadn’t come along, they would have ended up joining our family however, Hubby’s step-mom came to the rescue again. She happened to mention to her nextdoor neighbors, two lovely ladies that she has know for thirty-some years, that we had found two stray kittens. The ladies told her that they had been thinking it was time to add another cat to their family since their elderly kitty had passed away last year and that two little black kittens sounded like a perfect fit for their family. At last report, the boys were getting along famously, having totally charmed the family, including their ten year old German sheppard and, basically running the show. They renamed them Simon and Rudy. Miss Dee didn’t approve but she was glad they had a happy new home and that we have visitation rights anytime we wish.

If we were having coffee..I would tell you that we have done lots other “non-kitten” related stuff this week like purchasing Miss Dee’s text books for school, (her classes start on Wednesday and don’t even get me started about the cost of text books!), spending a day down the shore with my sister and her family, and dancing the night away listening to our friend Vinny’s band, but since I’ve been talking for most of our visit, I think it’s time to give you the floor. How was your week? Did you go dancing or spend exuberant  amounts of money on school supplies? Are you or your children heading back to school this week or has that ship already sailed? Let me refill your cup and you can fill me in.

This post is part of The Weekend Coffee Share brought to you each week by Diana at Part Time Monster. Don’t forget to stop by and visit the rest.

Jack in Watercolor

One of the items on my Summer Bucket List  is to create at least 6 new pieces of art. The thing is, I love to draw and paint. It brings me great joy and relaxes me but I find that I don’t always make the time for it so that’s why it’s on the list.

My newest passion has been watercolor. I’ve been painting with acrylics and oils since I was a teenager but watercolor is pretty new to me. I’m discovering a lot of fun ways to work with it and I’m so thrilled that I discovered watercolor pencils because they make the medium so much more versatile. I guess that’s because good old paper and pencils is my first real love.

Yesterday I decided I was going to try doing a portrait of our cat Jack. Naturally I worked from a photo because I can’t count on him to hold still that long (at least not when I need him to!) Here is the result:

image

I’m pretty happy with it although I’m not sure I captured his personality that well. 😊  I picked this photo because I loved the sense of light. I mean, what cat doesn’t enjoy a nap in the sun.

Next I plan on trying a cat portrait of his sister. Hopefully that will turn out well too, but either way, it’s great fun. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing leisure activity.

The 2016 Summer Bucket List

It’s that time again….

IMG_1476

For the past ten years I have worked at a job that allows me to have the summers off. This is a treat, of course, but it can also seem daunting to someone like me, who thrives on routine. I found that instead of being productive with my time, I was wandering around half-doing a lot of stuff with no direction or plan. Last year I decided to try a little experiment and I called it my “Summer Bucket List” and you know what? It really worked! I wasn’t able to finish everything on the list but it did keep me motivated and focused and when September rolled around, I was able to see exactly what I did with my time off.

Naturally, I was ready to make another handy dandy bucket list this summer!*  Several of the items on my 2016 list are repeats from last summer, either because they were not accomplished last year or, they were so much fun, I wanted to do them again! Anything marked with a (c) is something that makes me a bit nervous or is something I tend to procrastinate about and will therefore be more of a challenge to accomplish. My last day of school this year is June 16th. This is also the date of Miss Dee’s graduation ceremony so that day is pretty much a wash but on June 17th I’ll be off and running! Wish me luck!

BEHOLD THE 2016 SUMMER BUCKET LIST!!

1. Take at least six day trips (parks, beach, etc)
2. Drive over a bridge. (c)
3. Repaint the living room walls
4. Travel some where by train
5. Ride a train into the city (c)
6. Create at least six art projects
7. Visit at least 2 museums
8. Take care of some “self maintenance” by catching up on yearly physicals and dentist visits (c)
9. Go camping
10. Go canoeing or kayaking
11. Have at least six lunch dates with friends or family
12. Go zip-lining (c)
13. Walk on the beach
14. Have a picnic somewhere next to the water
15. Have a romantic weekend away with my Hubby
16. Clean out and reorganize the laundry room
17. Maintain my newly planted herb garden and use the herbs often (c)
18. Attend the theater at least three times (films or plays)
19. Reorganize the upstairs closet
20. Touch up the paint on the kitchen cabinets
21. Finish organizing and labeling our family tree and photos
22. Visit a local winery and enjoy a wine tasting.
23. Listen to some live music, preferably outdoors
24. Go dancing with my Hubby
25. Have a “”Lord of the Rings” / “Hobbit” marathon with Miss D

*BTW It would be super awesome to have some company on this adventure so feel free to make your own list if you’re so inclined.

We can compare notes and cheer each other on! 😊

The Weekly Smile #11 – WHO Are You

On Monday evening I was once again galavanting around as a middle age concert goer. This concert, due to unforeseen circumstances, was almost a year in coming. Doesn’t matter. It was still fabulous!!

1965, Paris, France --- British band members of "'The Who," lead singer Roger Daltrey, drummer Keith Moon, bass player John Entwistle and guitarist Pete Townshend. --- Image by © Tony Frank/Sygma/Corbis

1965, Paris, France -“‘The Who,” — Image by © Tony Frank/Sygma/Corbis

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve had a serious crush on Roger Daltrey, lead singer for The Whosince I was sixteen. Still, it took me until I was in my forties to finally see him in concert. The first time was at an outdoor stadium in nearby Camden with my Hubby, his brother and sister-in-law. We got rained on and were so far away that the band members looked like ants. Didn’t matter. It was still a dream come true for me.

The second time was just Roger by himself at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia. We were way up in the top row and the show started late because someone was smoking something in the front row and had to be escorted out by security. That didn’t matter either.

Waiting for the Quadraphina Tour to start.

Waiting for the Quadrophenia Tour to start.

We saw them the third time again in Philadelphia during their Quadrophenia Tour. It was just Hubby, his brother and me that time. Our seats were closer and the video that accompanied the show was so well done it was like watching a film with music. Sadly, John Entwistle had passed away by then but Roger and Pete included a wonderful tribute to him in the show. All in all the concert was excellent. I  didn’t think they could get any better.

I was wrong.

image

Even though we had to wait an extra four months, due to Roger Daltrey’s bout with meningitis, this concert was, by far the best yet. Our seats were unbelievably good. The photo above has not been zoomed in so that should give you and idea. Obviously it was taken during the song “Behind Blue Eyes” one of my favorites. The music and stories were nonstop for two hours and the video graphics were even better than the last show. It amazes me that two guys in their seventies were able to keep up the energy needed and still look and sound at the top of their game.

I think the most touching part for me was that it felt like a “goodbye” performance. Pete and Roger talked about the bands challenging past and their own relationship which seems to have mellowed into one of great mutual respect and affection. Simon Townsand, Pete’s brother, played guitar and Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey, who has been with them since 1994, was on drums so there was a lot of history on stage, a lot of comradery.

They played every big hit The Who has ever had, one after another and we were on our feet for most of it. The crowd around us (mostly our age and older) were so pumped up that it made it even more exciting. By the time we got home, a little before midnight, my voice was hoarse, my ears were ringing, but I was smiling for sure!

imageThis post is part of The Weekly Smile hosted by Trent’s World. Stop by and pick up some more smiles and maybe leave one of your own

Quick, Catch the Summer! It’s Getting Away!

imageHow could it possibly be the middle of August already! I feel like I was just posting my Summer Bucket List yesterday! Now, according to the Audrey Hepburn calendar hanging in my kitchen, I only have about three weeks to finish it.  I can tell you, it ain’t happening. Still, I feel like I’ve made a pretty good dent in it and there are several new things in the works…

  • Even though we were not able to make our annual camping trip up to Worlds End we are planning on spending Labor Day weekend at my brother-in-law’s vacation house in the mountains. The resort has a lake so I’m sure we will be doing some kayaking. (#1,#10)
  • The weekend before Labor Day a dear old friend and her husband will be coming from Virginia to visit. Even though we keep in touch through e-mail and phone calls, this will be the first time we have been face to face since my wedding 21 years ago! Needless to say, we have A LOT of catching up to do! I’m really excited.(#11)
  • Tonight, Hubby and I are meeting some friends at a local winery for a night of wine tasting and music. It will be outdoors near the vineyards. A very pretty area.(#22,#23)

Okay, so that will be four or five more things to check off the list. As far as what is left…the drive-in movie is out because the place we were going to go has, apparently, really gone down hill. Several friends have told me about the poor condition of the theater and how out of control the crowds sometimes are so I think I will pass on that. The rest we will see about. Pretty sure the whole zip lining thing isn’t going to happen, at least not this summer. Maybe I can trade it for a trip to the trampoline park. Miss Dee said its a lot of fun. What do you think?

So Audrey says I still have 25 days/9 hours to put this baby to rest.  The final count will be posted on September 8th. Wish me luck! 😊