Thursday, August 19, 2010

August 19: Loveliest Day of the Summer. . . Maybe. . .

Tho that's like deciding on the cutest puppy! It has been a spectacular summer. We do finally need rain--the rest of Maine has needed it for a while, but we had heavy rains every three days or so which kept us green--but it's been quite wonderful for quite a while.

And Silas is here and things are going quite well. It seems longer than a week--not in a bad way, just in that it seems like at least a month. He's talking more, which is great, and eating a bit more (which is a relief to my "feed 'em up" Mom mind) and has met a bunch of the boys' friends. Our world seems much bigger now with him in it, which is terrific.

Today I did school work on the back deck for about two hours, and felt it was the best of all possible worlds: productivity coupled with inordinate beauty. . . WOW. Now, school work DONE for today, I am heading toward iced tea, chips, and book, also in inordinate beauty. What have I done to deserve this??????????????

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15: After the Stork!

Well, Silas is here, and we're settling in. I can already tell that I am going to have to learn to "sit on my hands," and just let things unfold, since 17 year old boys don't need to be directed, overseen, involved, checked in with, and generally fussed at every. minute. of. the. day, even when their host mamas just want to be sure they're okay. Thank God I can inflict that kind of attention on my own children instead. . .

So. Here we go on our new adventure. Once again, time is the secret. Gosh, I hate that kind of thing!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11: Yesssssssss!

The redecoration is mostly finished. We have pictures to hang, a few lamp decisions to make, and a chair to shellac (I *like* me a shiny finish!), but the big muscle--work all day--sweat dripping off your nose--it's 8 pm and I think I'll eat dinner stuff is DONE. Andy and Nate got the mattress and box spring yesterday; Lyle, Nate and I set up the den yesterday afternoon (Lyle and Nate both said, "It looks like a study!"--I think they mean old British Safari Club, as much in it is worn, warm, or wood!), and we're all happy with the new layout. A picture will follow, once I take one: I sat down at 9:20 last night IN said finished den, and then the department came over at 8 am till 1 for an intense and useful session unpacking standards (yeah, I know. But it makes sense to us teacher types, and we even had fun). . . so I am tired, kicking back, and relishing the empty house.

My beloved Corolla will be done at the body shop post-collision late afternoon, so we are slowly getting back to normal--and then to our new normal on Saturday, and then ANOTHER new normal on Monday afternoon, when I'll have two senior sons and one freshman son, all doing preseason! Bring it on--but right now I think I'm taking a nap!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10: Snagging. . . and the like

Click on that picture to see the newest denizen of our front porch: yes, a HUGE spherical spider, and, to add to the whole horror movie effect, she's white and orange. EWWWWWWW! I am hoping that someone will decide to relocate her humanely and quickly, but I don't think that someone will be me, as I'd have to get too close to her. She's outside, so killing isn't the ethical thing, but, really---yuk.

On the brighter side, we're down to the details. I ran into the phrase "snagging list" in a novel on home reconstruction, and it means all the final things that need to be done to be truly DONE. Some stuff--buying a new mattress and box spring, for example--is a tad larger than just snagging, but we have plenty o' pictures to hang, decorating decisions to make, the final two bits of baseboard that we overlooked before to denail, fill, paint and replace. . .etc. I have been working full out for several days, and Andy has too. The boys have been on and off for the past few, but when we fall into bed tonight. . . I'm hoping we'll be DONE. Well, maybe "done and with a snagging list." Do those EVER get completed????

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 8: Summer of Boys

It's Sunday morning; in less than a week we'll have picked up the new member of our family, our exchange student Silas. Partially as a result, we've been working very hard on some house projects lately, and the odd side effect of that focus has been some wonderful family times.

My 'family of origin' was light on money and heavy on projects which were, therefore, fueled by our own muscle power and time. We all joke now about how we complained and whined and moaned at the time but now romanticize that life--stacking wood, shoveling, weeding the garden, even getting in hay and cleaning chicken pens. I've noticed the same pattern in my current family's life: the boys will moan and complain when we pick a day to rake leaves or put in screens, but then they'll say, "Remember how we always used to. . . " and the memory is whine-free.

So when Andy and I planned to refloor the den and paint my study ivory instead of pink for Silas's sojourn, I expected the same pattern. Imagine my shock when

it didn't happen.

The boys have been fun! They have volunteered to join in and work! They have moved from one project to the next without having to be rooted out of the corners where they might hide. . . I even heard Lyle telling a friend that he was sorry he couldn't make it to the friend's party last night because "I don't have a ride"--which he did, in fact.

I attribute a huge amount of their enthusiasm to the intense effect of homedecoration on a run down room, but also to the addition of a ROPE SWING to our front yard. After working for a bit, they'll slide out to the front and swing for awhile, Lyle boosting Nate onto the seat, or Nate pushing Lyle. There have been a few bumps and bruises, and there's certainly been fine-tuning of the swing itself, but overall, the swing has added serenity and fun to our work for this summer. Paint a bit--swing. Clear moldy cardboard out of the cellar--swing. Do a good deal of family work that needs to get done--swing--then eat a terrific dinner of hot potato salad and free range tbone steaks on the deck and talk about what we want to do when Silas comes--swing some more--then collapse into bed. Great memories, minus the whining. Amazing.