Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thoughts on August....It's Here!


Only a short time ago, the month of August still appeared to be a distant thought for me, though realistically it was on my mind as it crept forward like a misty fog rolling in quickly on a summer’s eve.

Even with several “countdowns” posted on my blog’s sidebar, the focus has remained with the current “Midsummer projects”, and obviously the excitement is building for future events, always taking up brain space at the forefront of my mind.

Could it still be though, the month of August is here so soon? The calendar page was flipped over yesterday to reveal, indeed, this is true.

While I am the type of person wishing to savor precious moments and thrive on celebrating the ordinary everyday life moments I treasure most, at the same time I also realize, I am in awe, over just how fast time does fly.


  • Wedding; August holds a beehive of activity for us this year, as our family becomes filled with the anticipation of a great event descending upon us at the end of the month. The countdown is on for our daughter Ashley’s wedding day, a day where she will accept the matrimonial bonds of marriage to her fiancĂ© Mike. As I tick off the days escalating the countdown to this date, I also know we will be flying west again, and there is much to do for both the occasion and the packing. Yippee!
  • Company; At last, we will soon have family visit from the west. Our son Aaron and wife Jennifer will be flying out and arriving next week. They will be escorting the three oldest grandchildren, all girls who are so excited about their trip, they’ve all been packed since January! It will be a great adventure to have them so near, bonding together during our time with one another. Everyone is so very excited here too, only five more sleeps until they arrive and we pick them up at the airport. Like Jennifer said when I first met her, “I’d love to hang out with you all”…so we will “hang out” and cherish it all. Very soon after the family leave for home again, another couple will be arriving, friends from Indiana, to have three days with us. We’ve been looking forward to our visit for some time, just wasn’t able to co-ordinate it all until now. When we drove to Chicago for medical tests at the end of March, we stopped by and visited with them, so at long last, the time has arrived to get together once more.
  • Travel; Of course any long suffering wanderlust will be resolved with another flying trip ahead, gathering with family and friends is always wonderful at any time. During our return trip home from our daughter’s wedding, we bring home with us my hubby’s mother to visit here for two weeks. It’s great to be able to fly all together with her in our midst, and have her with us one way, leaving only the return trip for her to travel alone.


We celebrate the festivities ahead, and find pleasure in feasting in the ordinary things too, as I’ve often mentioned before.

Next week while family are in town, we will celebrate our son’s and our oldest grandchild’s birthdays. Also in August are momentous occasions with both son-in-laws turning 30, a great milestone for both of them. Happy Birthday today in fact to Roger, whose puppy is keeping him very busy! Our son and his wife who will be here next week celebrate their wedding anniversary at the end of this month, so with another wedding on the horizon, that’ll be two to delight in every year.


Aug. 6 – Transfiguration of our Lord

Aug. 15 – The Assumption


Jumping from the lifeguard chair is a daily thing!

  • Swim; It’s swimming lesson time, two weeks filled with daily morning lessons. After a hiatus of two summer seasons, it was time for a repeat with the little ones. I have to admit, I’ve been enjoying the time at the outdoor park, taking my chair and bottle of water with me, and simply regrouping and recovering from life’s hectic paces. Actually, the hectic pace was self-inflicted with the "Midsummer Projects", but what a wonderful feeling realizing it’s almost to completion now. Yeah!
He loves to dive!
  • Hockey; Winter Ice Hockey is right around the corner, so with this in mind, our older son is attending a “Hockey Conditioning Camp” this week, a grueling and tough camp with on ice skills and drills, and plenty of “dry land” to get into shape for the season’s sport ahead. The summer sun’s heat blares down upon them, scorching hot as they move about outdoors each evening. Now that’s been tough! Muscles are waking up, screaming for mercy and our son hobbles to the van after his four-hour evenings. I tease him he’s mimicking Frankenstein at best, with sore, stiff, and tender muscles from the after burn. He has a strong desire to try out for rep hockey this year, a higher caliber league with plenty of challenges for him to excel in his favorite sport.
  • Soccer; Our homeschooling group still sponsors weekly soccer nights and all the children love to go and participate in the evening sport. It’s so fun and recreational with parental volunteers teaching the game, and the loaded coolers at the end of the session are filled with freezies to cool off any hard working kidlet. This week two of our children met up with swimming lesson buddies at soccer, very fun!
  • Horse; Horse fever is still a hot ticket item here, with both daily duties next door and weekly riding lessons still in session.
  • Piano; I’ve opted to send the two youngest to a few lessons around the schedules of the piano teacher and I, just to keep them remembering their notes and timing for a few songs they had trouble with at the end of the year. They’ve actually enjoyed the idea of keeping this up, though so far they’ve only been once. Maybe three or four more times, and they’ll be fine when we return from our trip and roll onward into the fall season with the upcoming schooling year.
Placing his name on the treehouse
for obtaining his free book!

  • Summer Reading programs; Both summer reading programs are still in full swing, the younger two eagerly picking up books to read or listening to books on tape with the two older cassette walkmans I outfitted the “listening center” with. Our son earned a free book at “Barnes and Noble” last weekend, thrilled with the challenge of keeping his reading record intact. Our local librarian will return from her family vacation soon, resuming her weekly craft days all the children love to attend. She’s an amazing librarian, and there are perks when living in a small community you know. For instance, she allows all brand new magazines out on loan, rather than keep them for a month before leaving the shelf. She also knows us by name, our interests and hobbies, so often she will have a stack of books waiting for us to preview if she knows we’re coming by, just for us to browse before reshelving them. Great huh?


Corn field across the street from our home.

  • I noticed the sweet corn roadside stands have sprung up this week along our country drives.
  • The ice cream and gelato at the local (the only) video store is booming with business as folks purchase theirs to go, often meandering about by the waterfront to sit a spell and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings. We too are guilty of doing this. My hubby loves to take the “scenic” route, stopping in for an ice cream cone, and I’ll proceed to the beach side and park the vehicle to just sit, and be still. Sunsets are always a bonus at this time of early evening!
  • Chip trucks are huge money makers in this area during the summer season. Fresh local grown potatoes are purchased, chipped fresh and cooked just right with your choice of vinegar, gravy and/or ketchup and salt. It doesn’t get any fresher than this! There are no chemicals or preservatives in the food, and always cooked to order. A medium plate to share together, to go, also suffices for waterfront relaxation, nothing like it!
  • Blueberries are everywhere lately, and one store mixes them with strawberries and adds a dollop of vanilla yogurt on top for a fresh, nutritious take out Yummy yum! Our family has always loved our blueberries, usually eating our way through 80 pounds before the new year.
  • Fresh green beans have been freshly harvested by friends and sweet snow peas as well. There is nothing like a nibble of these items fresh from their vines!


  • Our “Birdie land” has had issues socially with far too many black grackles bullying the playground. They’ve been scaring off every other beautiful bird, though the mourning doves don’t take any flack from them. I’ve allowed a famine to take place to rid them from our yard, and focus on only filling the feeders with feed they don’t enjoy. It’s almost time to switch it back to feed for attracting the sweet feathered friends here again.

On the far left at the top of the tree, a Heron sits there.
  • Blue Herons and Turkey Vultures are early morning visitors recently, resting a while as they perch high above the ground at the top of the treehouse branches. It’s not difficult to notice them for that particular tree seems to be dying off and the branches are fairly barren of greenery.
  • Rabbits living in the brambly bush nearby are continuing their early morning and later evening visits. We found one of the rabbit villages at the side of the house on the neighbor’s property under a few trees. They successfully consumed all (!) of the hostas, one of the varieties anyway, in our new back birdie garden bed, those located under the maple and willow trees. But watching the wee ones dance and prance about has been quite entertaining recently, and it’s hard to get angry at them for the joy they bring.
  • Two weeks ago, I sat on the garage floor trying to complete a painting task needing a second coat. I had one of the large garage doors opened up to allow the setting sun’s rays bid me farewell, one son was on his roller blades playing hockey just beyond the van parked outside the door. Suddenly I received a little visitor, a wee fluffy guy with a lovely furry tail. It had come from around the corner and began to enter into the garage, lingering around a paint can near the door frame. Instinctively I tapped the floor with the hammer nearby, alerting it to my presence. It looked at me, took some observations and though I meant to shoo it away, it continued to pursue the paint can area. It took me a minute to digest just exactly WHAT was before me, a little critter I had assumed was a squirrel. NOT! As it began to move, it’s slinky long body alerted me to the fact this was no squirrel, rather I had a weasel of some sort in my company! I knew these little animals could be vicious, especially if it was a mink weasel. I tapped on the ground again and it turned on its heels and ran off. It ran with great speed, bounding across the road and into the farmer’s field. With a bit of research I found out these little guys love to eat rabbits, rats, mice, bird eggs and more. But, our neighbor gave caution if I ever saw one again to alert her, mostly because minks can wreak havoc on her horse’s legs, chomping around them like blades of knives. Oh dear!
  • Last week we noted the appearance of a red tailed fox laying on the roadside, dead, obviously having been struck by a passing vehicle. As sad as it was to see him laying there, it gave us a close up and personal view of the critter. We’ve heard there are several dens within half a mile of our home, with fox feasting on similar mammals to the weasel family. With the farmer crop of choice this year being rotated to include sweet corn as well as the popular animals corn, there are plenty of mice gathering in population requiring the presence of these animals to dine on.
  • Last weekend, three coyotes appeared on our neighbor’s property. Before that, one stood in the center of our driveway observing our barking dogs directly ahead of it. It’s in instances such as these when we’re happy to have our pups contained and protected and learned our neighbors also protect their dogs at night like we do, especially at night.
  • Mourning Doves are still nesting and we’ve researched them to find they can nest up to three times each year. Currently a nest is residing inside one of our new trees along the back property border.
  • Bats are dancing in the skies in the early evening when the sun goes down. Several recently have hovered closer to the house, delighting in the rash of farming bugs stuck inside of the spider webs there. Take them away Batty pals!
  • Cicadas are here again. Last summer I detested the sound of these insects, the squeely horrid electrical box sounds they fill the air with just weren’t something I had not been used to. Now that they’ve arrived and I know what they are, I find they aren’t bothersome to me any longer.
  • Crickets rule the night here, lulling us to sleep upon occasion with their symphonic sounds. Together with the distant sounds of rushing waves lapping up on the shores, they are a lovely way to doze off at night into a deep slumber with the peacefully serene pleasure they deliver.
  • Orange Day Lilies and Queen Anne’s Lace grow wild all over roadsides, farmer fields and folks are rounding them up and taking them into their gardens. I have two large bushy day lilies bursting with color at the present time, an easy to manage floral piece for a gardener without much time to fuss over it. Lovely!
  • I’ve noticed the drop is pesky insects with the active bird feeding attracting the feathered friends into our yards recently. Between them and the smaller bat community, the pesty insects aren’t as prevalent these days.


  • BONFIRES: We’ve just about exhausted the wood around the property, the pieces fetched by children when begging for yet another bonfire. Our teens had two this past week with friends, roasting marshmallows and enjoying the visits together. The simple country living we’ve grown accustomed to allows us to enjoy fires in our bricked pit whenever we feel like having one. We can’t believe this was never possible for us before, no fire laws in place here to ruin the fun, nor restrictions of what type of food we can cook on there.
  • Night time trampoline; Hubby and I used to sneak out of the house when we thought the little ones were sleeping, with pillows in hand and lay atop of the trampoline together, wishing upon a star and catching up on our day. We often delighted in finding shooting stars and were thrilled with the quiet we sought when doing this simple and fun thing. Often though, the children began to suspect us going out there, so they’d stand guard at their windows, peaking out the cracks of the blinds until they found us out. Sometimes they’d beg to join us, though they never sat still and the moment was gone. But ask them if they liked those times, and I’m sure you’ll get a hearty affirmation as an answer. Our trampoline here is a way from the house, and in the darkest velvety black nights, no one can see that far out the window if they wanted to. And the stars! Wthout street or city lighting, copious amounts of stars are present for a thrill any evening, shooting stars are plentiful too. Ah-ha!
  • BEACH FUN AND WATER PLAY; Surf’s up nightly after 4pm. If riding waves are the desired pleasure for the day, we’re off! If not, wonder down to the water earlier in the day. It’s not uncommon to see various boating vessels anchored a short distance from the shores, jet skiis all over the place, water skiing hotshots showing off, and other assorted craft passing by. Just to sit and become refreshed by the water’s edge is often a simple pleasure we take for granted. What a gift to have the water so near.
  • SUNSETS; Last but not least, saluting the fallen sun setting in the west is still an evening activity highlight at our house. It’s always there to remind us we’ve been blessed with another day, another opportunity to make a memory, another chance to make ourselves a better person. Look up tonight and see what we see!

And soon, it will be autumn an we shall sit over a hot cuppa and reminisce about summer thoughts...