Wrapping Up the Summer and the Bucket List


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…😊



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


Staggering Into the Home Stretch or Where Oh Where Has My Summer Gone?


I’ve lost it.

Totally and completely lost it. My motivation. My focus. My purpose! Here it is 20 days till the end of my summer break and I have stalled midway through my Bucket List. It seems like I spent most of the last two months running around like the proverbial headless chicken but I don’t exactly remember what I was actually doing. Have you ever had days (or weeks) like that?

Today, I took stock of the cursed list and the number of items I have checked off of it are about half. “Not too bad,” you might say, but a lot of those items were done during the first few weeks, back when the summer was just a fledgling with so much promise and possibilities. By mid July my motivation was BLAH. I shouldn’t say that completely though because parts of July were fun. We had birthday and graduation parties and the STEAM camp that I worked at was certainly a blast, however, I’m thinking that camp may have been what threw me off course. I was so busy getting ready for it and was so exhausted when it was done that my get-up-and-go just sort of…..went.

Well, the days are short so it’s time to hop back onto that Bucket List train! Let’s get to planning! But where do I start? If you happened to visit my last Coffee Share, you know that items #9 and 10 are off the table. In addition, remember item #17? The one about maintaining and using my newly planted herb garden?  Sad to say, my herbs have become a casualty of the heat wave. They are now pots of brown crispy things that don’t much resemble herbs anymore. Guess that one is off the table too. (“herbs” off the table…get it?! *snicker*)

Hmm..maybe…Yes, I think my first order of business will be item…

#11. Have at least six lunch dates with friends or family.

I even have one planned already for Wednesday! Ba-zinga! It’s actually sort of a working lunch. A friend, who is a teacher and therefore also has the summer off, is moving in a week. We have been trying to get together all summer but being a single mom with a five year old, trying to pack up one house while fixing up the new one has kept her pretty busy. Finally I decided that the sensible thing to do, instead of us actually going out to lunch, would be for me to take lunch over to her house so we could eat and then pack while we visit. I happen to be a maniac when it comes to packing and organizing! She was thrilled with the idea.

So that’s one lunch date down….I might not get to six but I have a gift card for Red Lobster that I bet I can get my sister to help me with!

The next item I want to work on is…

#7. Visit at least two museums.

This sounds like an excellent thing to do during a heat wave- a nice air conditioned museum! If I take a friend…and we have lunch there….I can kill two birds with one stone!!! Excellent!

Okay. Good. I’m feeling much better. I’ve got this, right? Twenty days is a pretty long time. I’m sure I can squeeze quite a few more items in. This summer is not getting away so quickly!!

Stay tuned….


If We Were Having Coffee…6/25/16


If we were having coffee…we would be sitting on the back porch enjoying the abundant sunshine and the lovely cool breeze. Ahhh! Summer is upon us. There were a couple of chipmunks hanging out a minute ago and a cardinal on the bird feeder. I’m sure they will be back if we sit here a bit. Hubby’s been doing battle with the neighborhood squirrels lately because they keep stealing the birdseed from the feeder. (That is what squirrels do after all) As you can see, it’s on a pole out in the yard. He keeps moving it further out because apparently, squirrels are really good at jumping. They launch themselves off the porch rail and end up swinging from the bird feeder! I swear we mush have flying squirrels because that’s a good six feet! He may have to find another solution. I’ll keep you posted.

If we were having coffee…I would ask you about your week as I topped off you mug of French roast. Was it fun? Demanding? Unusual? Did you go anywhere special or see any good movies? Miss Dee and I watched a film last night called I Saw the Light.” It was a bio-pic about the life of country western singer Hank Williams. I will admit that we mostly decided to watch it because Tom Hiddleson played Hank and we have a thing for Tom, but it was actually pretty good. I hadn’t realized that he was only 29 when he died. Sadly, he had issues with alcohol and drugs that lead to a heart attack. His career was only about six years long yet he produced so many hits and had such a unique style that he is considered a major influences in country music. My mom loved Hank Williams so I grew up listening to his songs. Interestingly, Tom Hiddleson, who is a British actor, did all the singing himself and he was really spot on! I would defently recommend checking out the movie if you get the chance.

If we were having coffee…we could talk about my “Bucket List” progress. I am only nine days into my summer break and I have already check a few items off. If you checked out my “Weekly Smile” you would know that I spent a lovely day on the beach (even though it was over night, I still count it as a day trip, because, hey, it’s my list😊). I also took the plunge and drove across a bridge, something I’ve never done before. Yay me! Granted it was only a small bridge but it was also a draw bridge and we were stopped at the front of the line of traffic when it opened to let a boat through. That was kind of cool and also a little scary because the bridge shook a little as the opening went up and down!

Also on the list, I would probably remind you, was completing at least six art projects. Most of my artistic endeavors at this time are geared towards the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) camp I will be helping with in July. Each day has a theme and I’ve been working on the photo back drops for them. One day will be a “CSI” day where the children will explore forensic science and follow clues to solve a mystery, so I created a life size badge that they will get their photo taken in front of. We will then shrink it and laminate it for them to wear. Here is Miss Dee modeling the finished product…


I think she would make a pretty good agent, don’t you? Hopefully the campers will think it’s cool. My next project is a roller coaster back drop for “Amusement Park” day. That will be dedicated to the laws of motion.

If we were having coffee…you would probably remind me that the morning is whittling away and that I should get myself moving. Even though it’s summer vacation, stuff still needs to get done so I guess we should say goodbye until next weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by and don’t forget to check out the rest of the Weekend Coffee Share post brought to you courtesy of Diana over at Part Time Monster.


The Weekly Smile – Girls’ Getaway!

Taken with Lumia Selfie

Beach selfie! Notice Miss Dee’s sunburn! Ouch.

Last summer, Miss Dee and I started a new tradition that I hope will last for many years- a girls only beach get away! She and I both appreciate lazy days by the water. You know, no schedule, no plans, just sunshine, people watching and a good book. The boys in our family-not so much. They need to be moving, going places and doing thing. They want a plan!😳 So we left them at home and escaped to Hubby’s stepmom’s condo at the Jersey shore for a few days of  kick-off-the-summer downtime. [Summer Bucket List item #1]

We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and managed some pool time before the rain came. We then endured a night of thunder storms, straight line winds and no power for six hours before Wednesday arrived with its abundant sunshine. This is more or less my MO at the shore so I was not surprised. I was happy that the bad weather was limited to Tuesday!

On Wednesday we slept in, meandering down to the beach (a block from the condo) around 10:00 and enjoyed the sand and the water before the beach began to fill up. Then it was back to the condo for lunch and a few hours by the pool. The weather was perfect, just enough of a breeze to keep the heat bearable and the pool water was so refreshing. An added bonus was the fact that We had the pool all to ourselves. I guess everyone else was on the beach.

Around 3:00 we were starting to feel crispy so decided to shower and drive across the bridge [Summer Bucket List item #2] to the neighboring town of  Cape MayThis quaint shore town is famous for its beautiful Victorian homes (some now used as B & Bs) and downtown shops. We did some window shopping, stopped for a bite to eat, and then strolled around “Congress Hall,” a wonderful old hotel built in 1816 that sits just off the beach. It is said to be America’s oldest seaside hotel. Miss Dee and I are both history buffs so we “oooo-ed” and “ahh-ed” our way around the elegant lobby and verandas. Maybe someday I will be willing to pay to actually stay there but until then I will just imagine what it would be like!

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By 8pm we were running out of steam so, after stopping by the sweet shop for a box of salt water taffy because, hey, it’s the Jersey shore and you just don’t go home without taffy, we hoofed it back to the car. Our plan had been to spend another night at the condo in Wildwood and then head home Thursday morning since Miss Dee had to work that afternoon, but the weather report was predicting more storms in the morning and we had had quite enough of that! Instead we stopped back at the condo, packed up the car (it is ridiculous how much junk we packed for three days!) and headed on home that night.

Goodbye Jersey Shore! We had a wonderful adventure. The very best part, of course, was spending time with my favorite girl. I figure I better squeeze in these trips while I still can. I am hoping we can make another beach run this summer. Maybe we will even let the boys come next time. 😉

imageThe Weekly Smile is brought to you courtesy of “Trent’s World.” Don’t forget to stop by and check out the rest of the smiles or maybe even leave one of your own!