Monday, August 28, 2006

What I Did and Didn't Do This Summer

This is the time of year when classroom show-and-tell sessions across the nation are filled with children relating "What I Did This Summer."

If I had a show-and-tell to attend, I'd have plenty to tell, all right, about my adventures of the last few months. I'd have a few things to show too. (Even more if my camera hadn't died midway through the Upper Peninsula we speak it's en route to the manufacturer, and I'm going through major grumpy withdrawal.)

Here are some of the things I did this summer:

Planted a purple perennial garden (say that 20 times fast).


Got taken out to a swanky white-tablecloth fancy eatin' place.

And reciprocated.

Ate a pasty in Paradise.

Saw John McCutcheon and Claudia Schmmidt in concert.

Was introduced to the cultural phenomenon of Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Watched fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Visited Bronner's in Frankenmuth, the mother lode of both tasteful and tacky retail Christmas bling, with two enthusiastic power shoppers entranced by the fabulousness of it all, their amused aunt and their shopping-averse mother/in-law, who didn't really start having fun until we began playing an interesting human-interest variation on the "padiddle" game. (Which I believe I won.)

Went fishin'.

Had a picnic.

Participated in a Kidney Stone Passing Vigil.

But, alas, I didn't get everywhere, geographically or otherwise, I'd intended to this season. Here are some of the things I didn't do:

Repaint the porch pillars and my Bilco door.

Get a load of landscaping stone to go around my inherited house and hide the butt-ugly external insulation that the builders, Dumb and Dumber, Inc., convinced my parents to wrap around the foundation, instead of insulating and finishing the basement.

Learn to play euchre. (My offer still stands -- batch o' cookies to anyone who can teach me how to play.)

Get to a minor-league ballgame.

Start exercise walking again.

Devise a workable weekly routine for doing my household chores -- one that is maintenance, not disaster, oriented.

Raise a crop of tomatoes, thanks to our neighborhood herd of deer, who stripped my potted tomato plants to shreds.

Read very much.


Kate said...

If I lived somewhere in Michigan instead of somewhere in Virginia, soon to be somewhere in NJ, we would totally be on for a euchre tourney. I heart euchre and I haven't been able to play in so long, much less teach someone.

P.S. (an after-thought) said...

Your done and not done list sounds pretty normal to me, especially considering that you've had emotional changes.

My didn't do list is really long this year: haven't gone to a lake, haven't waded in a lake, haven't fished in a late, haven't canoed on a lake. Etc.

Did do:
Mowed the grass once (drought, and DH mowes only when the grass is about 8 inches high.)

But this is the first summer with grandma/toddler time, so I did actually do something new. And I was gone quite a bit for family issues.

Tom in Ontario said...

I was in Bronners, oh 15-20 years ago. I think my in-laws are headed there for the long weekend. While in Frankenmuth we even went to the great big LCMS church and I went up for Communion. I didn't realize they were LCMS and they didn't give any instructions about who was allowed to receive Communion.

I think kate's got a point. I did my best to email you euchre instructions but I think you need someone there in person, you have to play a few open hands where you can see what everyone's doing, and you can't take it too seriously. Like I said on my blog, I taught my daughters to play on Sunday but we still give them tips and pointers, suggestions and advice. You've got to find playing partners who are willing to do that for a while until you catch on to the rules and some of the nuances of strategy and when to play what card.

Your summer sounds a lot fuller than mine. The kids go back to school one week from today. They're not looking forward to it and neither am I. I've grown used to not setting an alarm clock, not rousting them out of bed, not making their breakfast and walking them to school. Summer becomes so laid back, even at work, but as soon as Labour Day is over it's back to schedules and grinds that can raise stress levels and reduce fun levels.

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Regarding devising a housework routine: visit It is kind of blunt, goofy and cheery, but her homespun philosophy and system about getting stuff done (even beyond housework) has helped me a lot.

LutheranChik said...

Blunt, goofy and cheery works for me.

cheesehead said...

John McCutcheon.

I heart him.

hipastorzwife2B said...

Sounds like a wonderful summer!

David said...

You mentioned Frankenmuth. In the spring I supplied for a pastor downtown, and there was a couple at the early service who were visitors from Frankenmuth. I told them that I grew up in Michigan and have very fond memories of frankenmuth.

After the late service, an usher came back to the office with a box that was marked "For the Michigan Vicar." Inside was a basket of sweet treats from their shop in Frankenmuth.

LutheranChik said...

Frankenmuth fudge kills (in a good way.) One of the shops makes turtle fudge -- chocolate with caramel and pecans. Yeow.

For those of you unfamiliar with this city -- it was founded by Pietist Lutheran missionaries from Germany who wanted to start a mission to the Native Americans in the area. I don't think that panned out very well, but the town did attract a lot of German immigrants who found the land excellent for farming. At some point the shrewd town fathers hit on the idea of selling the German-ness of the community, and transformed it into a kind of Bavarian theme park -- all the buildings with false-front facades and Bavarian woodworking and such, German-themed gift shops and restaurants, etc.; even the franchise businesses like McDonald's buy into the faux-Bavarian look It sounds cheesy, but it's really not. It's a very pretty little town -- we were impressed by all the flower plantings and hanging baskets and windowboxes, which were literally breathtaking, even at this time of year when a lot of flowers are past their peak. The big LCMS Lutheran church in town, St. Lorenz, has an outstanding music program, and hosts a lot of concerts outside of its normal worship schedule. And...farming is still big business. It's nice to see such a popular tourist town that hasn't sprawled into ugliness and overbuilding that changes the essential character of the community.

jill said...

Hey! I'm in Michigan and play a MEAN game of euchre! Why not figure out how to get some of us Michigan revgalblogpal-types together for some bread-breaking, euchre-playing fabulosity?!

Tom in Ontario said...

The ugliness is confined to the outlet malls clustered around the interstate exits.

Questing Parson said...

When I was taking my psychological to be ordained, the shrink asked me to list the things I'd done over the past few months. I did. He then asked me why I listed them in to order I did. I'm now looking at your list. Hmmmmm ...

RuthRE said...

Your mention of Euchre again has got me trying to learn it.

Found this link...with instructions...and the opportunity to play online!

womiles said...

"...Participated in a Kidney Stone Passing Vigil."

can you describe this without going into detail?