Sunday 27 August 2023

Summer collage

It’s the last evening of summer (for me) and we are currently at our local rec centre waiting for the movie in the park to begin. Friends haven’t shown up yet and I forgot to bring my crochet, so….blog entry!

It’s been a good summer, although I’m also excited for the autumn and ready for the next thing….mostly, anyway.

Nothing particularly profound is coming to mind so here are a few bullet points. May add photos later.

What we’ve been up to:

Around the house:
  • Everybody has been hearing me brag about this all summer, and I make no apologies. I bought a tomato plant and a pepper plant from a fundraiser this spring, on impulse. They lived and grew real fruit! We have harvested/eaten three of the tomatoes and three more are on the plant. The pepper plant has a total of one pepper (I think the one bad hailstorm damaged its other flowers) but it’s still fun to see it grow.
  • We finally did some major decluttering, hiring a truck to haul away old broken things. We have a much a cleaner garage and storage room, and I am delighted….once I got over the strange anxiety that I experienced from finally doing this thing I wanted to do for so long.
  • I have been crocheting so many things this summer. Gothic lace for me and AJ, for Halloween. Navy and purple ponchos for the girls. A black lace ballet shawl for me, to wrap around my hips during my dance classes. I took a ballet class this summer and the teacher wore a shawl like that and I have to try out her style. Photos when projects finished/blocked.
  • I had an idea for a collage of the girls’ art, using big pieces of recycled cardboard. But I haven’t got around to it yet.
  • As mentioned above, I took an adult ballet class this summer which was great. I wanted to do something to be in shape for the start of fall dance season, but really I don’t need an excuse to take ballet. I deeply appreciated that it was within walking distance of my house so I usually walked there and back on the lovely summer evenings.
  • I also took a barre fitness class at the gym where we bought a family membership in the spring. Good for strength and getting my heart rate up! I think I can hold a plank for longer than I used to.
  • We did a lot of pool visits as a family. The girls are both getting confident in the water and AJ can swim independently, albeit she has more to work on for technique and stamina.
  • We returned to a favourite hiking spot.
  • The girls finally got back on their bikes. AJ was really reluctant. Last summer was difficult for me as we were transitioning my mom to assisted living and we never got out on our bikes at all. I just sort of forgot about it. So this year AJ had to learn to balance all over again and she kept saying she didn’t want to learn. I had to insist that she stick with it. It’s the less warm and fuzzy part of parenting. But she finally did and of course she figured it out and is enjoying it. Cycling is wonderful, so inexpensive and freeing so I want the girls to have that opportunity.
  • I gave myself a few aches and pains from weeding and working in our gnarly yard, and maybe also from enthusiastic participation in barre class. I recovered stronger though.
  • I got a nasty bug bite last weekend that got infected, but luckily it responded to medication.
  • Mr Turtle has been in much better health and has some decisions to make re: medications (as in maybe he can stop them or at least cut back on them.)
  • Sadly the health news from friends has not been so good. My former co-teacher, with whom I worked closely up till last year, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a strong advocate for herself and is getting good care, as far as I know. But it is upsetting as she is younger than me (just turned 40 and got married last year) and her mother died of cancer in 2020.
  • At the beginning of the summer, I received deeply disturbing news from an old friend. She had moved away with her husband in 2017, so our conversations are sporadic, though we are still in touch. But she shared the news that her husband, after some months of “breathing problems,” was in the ICU, in an induced coma, on a respirator….with an illness that had no diagnosis or explanation.  The good news is, he did get incrementally better and they are now back home.
  • I know I’m not super young anymore and maybe getting news like this goes with the territory, but I don’t know….it’s hard to wrap my mind around.  I still want the acceptance of mortality to be strictly theoretical, not applied and lived.
Family and friends:
  • The girls have had a good summer. We spent a lot of time just hanging out, and they also did two day camp programs, for a total of two weeks. (Sailing camp for AJ, a variety camp for Dani, and then music camp for both of them together.) They are both very excited for the start of school! And it’s such a good school, hurrah.
  • I used my kid-free hours to connect with friends, which was lovely (walking, talking, random shopping) and to work with Mr Turtle on our clean up project. We had a list of about 5 projects we could do and we had time and energy for one of them. We also ate at all our favourite brunch restaurants and went for long walks every day.
  • We saw a fair bit of extended family: family reunion in July, a week long visit from my mother in law, and a weekend trip North-ish in the province for an aunt’s birthday party where the girls got to meet two of their second cousins, who happen to be boys (most of the children in their generation are girls!). They got along awesomely.
  • I've been doing pretty good with reading this summer and actually finished 4 non fiction books. I may write about later on my other blog. There is a fiction book I want to read, so I may buy it for myself as a reward. 
I think that mostly covers it. Alas, I feel this entry is very scattered and probably doesn’t do justice to any of the things I mentioned, which are all very interesting or provoking to me in and of themselves. But anyway, I’ve marked time, which is moving on. Back to work tomorrow, which I feel pretty good about: compared to this time last year, I feel like I have less to worry and wonder about.

I am super excited for our dance season especially my new Ukrainian dance class. Both the girls are also joining new levels.  We are going to be very busy and active, but it’s good, for health and socially, I think. Plus, dance is magical.

The will and effort to find a new car continues, and the goal is to have one before it gets dark and cold and snowy. Driving has been a challenge for me lately, as in I have so much anxiety, though no more breakdowns or issues. It also feels like people are just awfully antsy and prone to do stupid things on the road: when I am frequently seeing accidents, even though not involved in them, it’s not doing much for my confidence.

Still, overall, stepping into autumn and the new school year with a reasonable amount of optimism and energy. Onward!

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