what I did last summer

Nope. This post has nothing to do with that movie. I think I remember Courtney Cox was a character in that film. There was a scary telephone scene? Apparently, I saw a trailer.

What I did last summer wasn’t as electrically terrifying, but it sure was packed like a Douglas Fir in the Selkirk Mountains (you’ll have to take my word on this one).

1. I moved six hours south, and packed up a four bedroom home in two and half weeks with my four kids. Whew. Then I got busy.

2. I planted our garden before I had the ‘new’ (but really old) house unpacked; I had the kitchen organized before the movers had the van unloaded.

3. We travelled to our previous hometown as a concession to our girls for the quick move, and attended the local summer symphony music school and gymnastics camps as previously promised, where they learned cheerleading and participated in choirs, piano & drums, and a theatre production of Dr. Doolittle as Polynesia and General-Madame Bellows.

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4. We attended my baby brother’s wedding. YAY! Congratulations Wes and Andrea!

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5. We bought a canoe, and canoed (curious to know the level of family harmony in your home? Head to the lake with everyone and their oars, mwahaha).

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6. We did some minor homesteading, like homemade soap, canned blackberry and raspberry jam, desserted on homemade peach and apple pies, froze a tonne of fruit, processed green beans, and used the laundry line all summer.

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7. Next summer we’ll do even more–because we bought a few acres, had the water well drilled, and plan to build early spring. August 2014 049We won’t ravage our present rental home for use in our new home–I am certain pressed-board wood paneling will never make its way back into style. In the meantime, I design, read design and mentally plant my tiered, lakeside gardens. I was like a kid at Christmas when I discovered an Island just a short paddleboard across the lake, decked with firepit…a Huck Finn summer for us next year!

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8. I drove the kids a half hour twice a day, five days a week to attend sailing and paddling camps. Got to make an effort to get to know kids in the ‘neighbourhood’.

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9. I attempted to build a tree fort, then a playhouse, and finally settled on a couple old-fashioned swings and tire swing. One of the kids said it was the happiest day of her life. Really? Think that’s a sign of my underperforming carpentry life. I’m Christmas wishing for a circular saw;) The kids decided to take the playhouse matter into their own hands and built themselves a play ‘tipi’ instead.

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10. I wrote a lot. Working alongside a renowned fictional author, thankful for her mentorship, encouragement and constructive criticism, I wrote, rewrote and discovered my inspring ideas aren’t always considered new and imaginative to the publishing world–there is nothing new under the sun–but I’ll keep doing it, cause I love it. Here’s my recent file photo for the book cover.

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11. I read a few books in my garden, or at my friend’s ‘resort’. Or at least I read a few chapters of a few books. My children marvel at my ability to pick up just a few more books from the library. But I figure, I ain’t buying em. Just borrowing. If I don’t like em, I can send em back. And anyway, anyone who can write, also reads. (I”ll be consulting Eats Shoots & Leaves on my colloquial use of isn’t and them later).

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And finally…

12. We are planning a third world trip to west Africa in a month (pics & stories from Amsterdam, Ghana and Belgium coming on this blog soon). We plan to bring soccer balls for the local kids and chocolate pudding mixes for us (and anything else we can bring in our suitcases to supplement our rice and bean buffets). We all have our OR caps ready–who knows what the children will be doing to assist dad in the operating room this time!

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September 1st seemed like the ideal day to begin studies this year, as my morning coffees in the garden now require a jacket. Good thing I opened the study boxes just three days before. It’s time for a little quiet indoors with the four kiddos–ha. Let the busy study season begin…