SO, it has not, as promised, been six months since I have strapped on the old blogbag. Only a month and a half or so. I like to think that I have somewhat good reason as this has been, I must say, largely a "working summer." Except that I did not actually have a paying job or accomplish anything productive to my own benefit. I have to say, for the past three months I have been a big old liar, and let me tell you, that is very hard work. I will never be looking for employment that in any way relates to conspiracy in the future after the stress I have encounted this summer!
That being said, I can now come clean and reveal on this very blog that along with planning a bridal shower for my sister's impending nuptuals, I decided sometime over the winter that it would be a great idea to plan a surprise party for my parents' 40th anniversary on that very same weekend. My original idea was for a Friday night party/Sunday shower brunch, but the prospect of out-of towners coming in for both party and brunch (and outside persuasion) convinced me to change the plan to Saturday night party/Sunday a.m. brunch, a daunting task with not much of a window for turnaround time... But being of the type who enjoys a good challenge, I decided to forge ahead with the plan, although I am not going to lie, more than once this summer I cursed myself and wondered what on Earth I was ever thinking. But the good news to report is that as far as I can tell, both events were a success and the surprise was, much to the astonishment of more than a few naysayers, actually a surprise.
So, the funny thing that came out of this summer, as far as self-discovery goes, is that I learned that in some cases I can be quite the control freak. Hopefully not in a bad way- I don't think at any point I turned into partyplannerzilla, but I did realize that I am so used to doing everything myself that I found it very difficult to delegate. If I have a task to complete, I put it on my list and it gets done. Once I outsource it to someone else, it is out of my comtrol and I think it is THAT that is stressful for me. Maybe this is a trust issue? I don't know, but I was totally calm about all the stuff I had to do, and handled it all pretty well and on a good timetable, it was the stuff I doled out to others that stressed me out (and to those of you "others" reading this, don't take it personally! You did a great job and "it's not you, it's me!") Just another little neurosis on my part. It's funny though, lots of people had assumed I hired a caterer and asked for the name. HA! The meat was all fresh but the sauces were from cans and jars! The cooking was easy, it was the secret keeping that was potentially ulcer-inducing! Luckily my fabulous doctor Dr. Delacey came to the party so had I topped out on the blood pressure or my Dad's internal defibrillator tripped due to the surprise, there was a doctor in the house. (Not to mention that he is a long-time family friend, dating back to when he and his family lived across the street and I babysat his kids!)
OK, so parties and showers aside, I did manage to do some fun things this summer. Though this may not figure into the typical category of "fun," I ripped the crappy ceiling out of my sunroom and am currently waiting for my fabulous electrician Steve Dion to come put in recessed lighting so that I can install a vaulted ceiling in there. I forgot, however, that Steve is a busy guy and booked weeks in advance. Hopefully I will hear from him before December so I can set up a 10 foot tree in there for my annual Xmas party.
The ceiling destruction leads beautifully into my current conumdrum, the fact that my house is a complete pigsty. Don't know if any of you folks out there are familiar with the good old horsehair plaster, but this lovely material used in homes between the turn of the century and, I assume, until wallboard was invented, is the grittiest, messiest, heaviest material on earth. It gets into EVERYTHING. So, after destroying the ceiling and cleaning up all the grit I could (which I put in my town-issued trash can which somehow withstood being mechanically lifted into the trash truck by its edges despite the fact that there was, no joke, 400 pounds of smashed plaster inside...)I kind of resigned myself to let the rest of the dust settle before doing any hard care cleaning. Yeah, then I had the party to plan, and the shower, and it was REALLY REALLY hot and humid... long story short, my house is not pleasent to be in at this time due to its uncleanliness. Last week I began the tidying up process by brushing Clara, my longhaired cat princess, and vacuuming the living room (fur resulting from these two acts could be used to build another entire cat) but quickly lost my mojo for the cleaning and found other things to do. Yet now, at T-minus 7 days til I have to be back on THE JOB, it has reached red alert and tomorrow has been declared hardcore cleaning day. There is no way I can face the stresses of THE JOB knowing I have a disaster to which I must come home. THE JOB is a disaster enough in itself.
So, what else?... Junior the attack cat is now on high blood pressure medicine, thyroid medicine, prednisone and prozac (no, I am not kidding, I get the prozac at CVS.) There were two attack incidents this summer, both of which I brought on myself. The first came while carrying him upstairs in the dark after attending a late-night concert by project jenny, project jan (check out their new album!). I tripped, scared him and he nearly bit off my nose. It has, however, healed reasonably, and you can hardly even see the scar... The other time occurred as I was lounged on my living room couch watching some good TV (CSI:NY- an old hallmate from mine at Middlebury, Anna Belknap stars on the show- good to see a MIDD kid out there being successful!) when I noticed there was a bat flying around the room... I am not at all afraid of bats (in fact I kind of like them) but I prefer them to remain OUTSIDE of my house... As I sprang up and wildly searched for something with which to corral the little bugger, Junior got spooked and went for me. So I had to banish him to the basement, at which point I lost sight of the bat. So I went to bed with the windows open and have not seen him since. That was about 3 weeks ago, so I assume his echolocation led him out of the house to a more suitable environment.
OK... also, my cats got a mysterious and very tenacious case of fleas. Note to fat cat owners: it takes two doses of your average flea control to do the job on 20+ pounders. We seem to have succeeded in this last attempt to eraicate them.
Met with some of my Auburn High buds again ... just realizing I never posted the picture from last time... anyway, its pretty funny how your conversation topics evolve as you get older. And, at the risk of incriminating myself or anyone else at that meeting, 'nuff said about that!
As I posted earlier, I made it down to the Lighthouse Inn once and then again this weekend, courtesy of the super generous Haines family. I have had the good fortune of having amazing weather at this place, and in a few weeks when THE JOB starts to get to me and I need to go to my happy place, I will close my eyes and be sitting out on the private Lighthouse Inn beach with a glass of wine, a perfect seabreeze, and hogging the Boston Globe Sunday crossword all to myself. Also a good time was had at the Sandbar, both for nighttime cocktails and a full tasty breakfast. Consider this place for your next vacay, they are the best.
Wow... long post tonight. A look ahead? This week consists of the aforementioned housecleaning, going in to work to set up my classroom for the incoming little darlings (pray for a class of less than 25...please...) and next weekend I head up to the old college hood of Middlebury for the wedding of my college friend and best-ever France travel buddy, Melissa. (We pretty much conquered Western Europe together in 1993 with the help of Jen, Kristin, and a few others...)Should be a good time, assuming I get my act together here and am ready for the new school year before I leave, lest I stress about it up north where nothing can actually be accomplished! As I said earlier, I appreciate a good challenge. Bring on the paper towels and swiffer.
Been awhile, but here it is:
Top Ten Things one Must do in Summer
10. Read at least one non-work related book
9. Eat a soft-serve vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles (the pastel ones don't count, sprinkles must comtain blue!)
8. Get some culluh! (color; this is Mass. talk for get out in the sun and get a (safe) tan!)
7. Take a walk on the beach (free foot exfoliant!)
6. Plan a giant party and a wedding shower for 12 hours apart; do all the shopping/planning/cooking yourself
5. Disregard #6, I was kidding. Not reccommended for the faint of heart.
4. One word: Karaoke!
3. Watch a thunderstorm with a good glass of wine
2. Eat good fresh New England seafood!
1. Swim in an ocean!
Rock on, y'all!