Summertime happiness

Summer. While in some ways it is still in full force — warm weather and sunny days — it is also on its way out. My company has half day Fridays during the summer and we only have 3 left for this year. Somehow that makes me want to slow down the clock and enjoy every moment of every half day Friday. Once Labor Day hits, we return to a full five-day work week, and it just makes life different. Those extra daytime hours you get back during the summer makes things that much brighter, shinier, and it feels like a longer weekend.

Our summer has been mellow and yet full of change and growth. In my opinion, it’s just how it should be. We have completed a ton of projects around our house and yard, strategized for which upcoming projects have a higher priority or what we should shell out some green in order to proactively fix or repair certain things. We have sat in the sun, done our fair share of grilling, eating seasonal berries and tomatoes, exploring artisan fairs and farmers markets, oh I could go on.

Summer is my favorite time of year. The days are long, the sun is out, it is warm, if not just downright HOT. Freckles begin to populate on my arms, face, and back. There is just a healthy glow that surrounds everyone, not to mention the happiness that exudes almost everyone (especially in Oregon where sunshine is in shortage for nine months out of the year). During the winter I burrow inside and read a book. In the summer I bask in the sun while I read and take cat naps between chapters. What is not to love about that? As with any season of the year, summer is a time of transformation, and I appreciate all the precious moments I have had this summer with Chris, at work, with family (even if it is via text or Facetime). Life is good. I have no complaints.

What do you love about summer?

“Clean out the sewers and replace the pipes”

I have to admit I am utterly exhausted as this week nears to a close. It is Friday, and I am ready for the weekend. A lot has been accomplished this week, a lot of progress has happened, but I still often feel like I am in a hamster cage saying: “Can I get out for a small break? Please can I stop spinning around this wheel?”

A work colleague shared an interesting idea in a meeting last week. She said: “We need to clean out the sewers and replace the pipes.” Maybe that sounds completely random to you, or maybe it resonates completely. How often do we stop, take an assessment for how things are really going and fix what needs to be fixed? If we were better about maintenance and checking up on our life, we might find that we do not need to clean sewers, and replace pipes because we were fixing and keeping up with life all along. How often does that really happen though? Do we fix the drip, or wait until it is a hole pouring water into our ceiling?

On Monday, I wrote about the mole infestation in our yard. It had been a trickle of random mole holes for months and months. We did nothing about it until this week when it wrecked havoc on our entire yard. I can only imagine the tunnels that have been dug a few feet down all around our yard and even under our house. Maybe sink holes are really the manifestation of a colony of moles over time? In any case, my colleague’s comment continues to make me think about work, home, and life projects that might be better handled by stopping and getting rid of the excess, the stuff that has built up (whether it be problems or a backlog) and focus on building a better infrastructure (replacing the pipes) so that there is a longer life to the foundation of a project or life situation.

I can think of a list of things at work and home where I need to gut and replace. I will leave you with this great quote:

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when are you going to have time to re-do it? -Bill Hosket [Basketball National Champion, World Champion, Gold Medalist]

WDWDWF (What Did We Do Without Facebook)

During these weeks that fly by with such crazy speed, I find it harder and harder to keep up with life, emotions, and the state of the world. I have not watched the news in months. I stay connected with morsels of information from Chris, whatever pops up in my Facebook feed, and the few moments I am at my desk at work with glances to see what is happening on CNN on the television in our area. Not too connected you might say?

Well, Facebook always tells me when a famous person dies, with friend’s status updates stating: “RIP, ________.” Or if there has been a plane crash, weather disaster, or incident in the world, my Facebook feed might say: “You are in my thoughts, ________.” I even know what job, home, or city my friends would be suited for based on the quiz they just took and shared. Or what level of Candy Crush they just completed. And, worst of all, whatever product I just searched for on Google, will now show up in my Facebook feed as a “Suggested Post.” So the news just follows me, I rarely have to go find it.

I almost forgot, I started following the No Poo group on Facebook, and now every other post is about someone who has failed or succeeded at removing toxic shampoos and conditioners from their personal care routine. Don’t get me wrong I have learned tons of new insights, but it is a lot of information and crazy amounts of people chattering on my Facebook feed. How to dye hair and stay “no poo”, how to get rid of frizzy hair and not use toxic product, how to start out on low poo, or mothers that have never washed their kid’s hair. I can only imagine what other “groups” discuss and at what frequency. It is like Dear Abby on steroids on every topic imaginable.

At the end of the day, some of it is worthless, some of it is so-so news, and some of it is just hilarious. WDWDWF? (What Did We Do Without Facebook)? We sent more texts, emails, and picked up the phone and talked to each other. Go figure. Before that we wrote letters (yes, I miss the lost art of letter writing). These days the only items I get in the mail are junk and bills. An occasional letter, yes, but that is the exception.

In any case, I am grateful that it is Friday as I look forward to a few extra hours of sleep tomorrow, time to catch up on emails, clean my house, run some errands and eventually curl up with a good book. Not too much to ask right? Oh, and I will probably take a few moments to peruse the mindless chatter on Facebook. Either it will be a waste of my time, or I will laugh, share, and like what you have bestowed on my feed.

Check out my divot

My grandma loved watching golf. She would watch it most Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Over the many years I spent time with her, and eventually lived with her off and on, I learned quite a bit about golf rules. Somehow though I never played golf. I have been to driving ranges, and played my fair share of putt-putt, but a full round of golf has never happened in my life.

Last Friday I went golfing for the first time. Yes, can you believe it? I had an absolute blast, and so far I might be a new convert. It started out as a gorgeous afternoon and 70 degrees at the beginning of May, what Portlander would not be stoked to be outside? As you can tell by this picture, the sun eventually hid behind the clouds and it cooled off a bit. Still a perfect day for a nine holes of golf. I was with colleagues who were patient and taught me some of the basics (of course so many more things to learn). I now understand a bit more about an iron, driver, and a putter, and I think I quasi know when to use each club.

I even had one or two initial drives down the green. As you can see by the photo of me, not all swings were successful. Actually on most holes I tee’d off quite a few times before I actually hit the ball. The photo shows during that swing that I took quite a bit of earth, aka a large divot. Notice the chunk of mud/grass sitting on my ball. Yes, I may have no idea what I am doing, but at least I played with all power and zest. By the way, do not ask me how many different balls I used (and lost) in the course of nine holes.

I will definitely be visiting the driving range to practice, and would love to venture back this summer. Bring on the sunny days so I can see if the excitement is a short-lived adventure or if it is my new summertime exploration.

Any golf pointers for me?

Just what you need: laughter

I had one of those weeks where I had every emotion run through me. Not crazy sick like it seems has hit so many parts of the country, but a sore throat that was slightly irritating as I had back to back meetings most of the week, and well it was just inconvenient for me. The emotions? Well sometimes when I am not 100% I can range from having a shorter temper, to being near tears, to exhausted, to a bit slap happy.

On weeks like this, sometimes you just need a good laugh. If that is too hard, then you need to watch a little one that finds laughter in popcorn, a dog, and watch out for the slobber. Thank you little munchkin for giving me a moment of laughter on my Friday. It is just what I needed. Hopefully it brings a smile to your face. Oh, and a happy weekend to you. My weekend will be filled with sleep, rest, good food, catching up with friends, a big football game, and dare I forget precious time with my hubby. TGIF!