The real reason summer is over

Summer is over. You might think I am crazy, that the weather is still warm out, but I will give you a few reasons why I am bummed that another summer is over. Sure, I could tell you that schools are back in session which means the time of my commute has just increased by another 10-15 minutes, which means I have to get out of bed earlier. I could also tell you that my company has summer half day Fridays, which the last one occurs for the summer on the Friday before Labor Day. I could tell you that the sun in my backyard is getting rarer and rarer each day. I could tell you that sunsets are getting earlier and earlier and the days are darker and shorter.

All of these things make me crave for life to slow down so I can enjoy things a bit more. Or maybe, I just need to slow down. The real reason I know summer is definitely over has nothing to do with the sun, schools, or light and everything to do with a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I am addicted. Every Spring I get excited for Summer and my avid excitement for iced coffee and every Fall I get giddy over a few months of joy and the ever sweet and addicting Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I usually do not like to drink Starbucks. I am one who drinks my coffee black, and prefers to truly savor the flavor and, because of that, I think Starbucks coffee is disgusting. Except for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. You cannot taste the coffee anyways, so what does it matter? I am all about all things pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, basically I want anything spiced, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin for the next few months.

September 2 is the launch of the Pumpkin Spice Latte for Starbucks. It seems that each year they launch it earlier and earlier, but I am not complaining. I drink them all throughout fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, until a random day in early January when we walk into a Starbucks and order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and they say they are out. I am then a hopeless wanderer for five months until the days begin to get warm and my iced coffee glee starts all over again.

Go get a Pumpkin Spice Latte today for me.

Boss Baby

It is Friday, it has been a long week, and I have a hunch we all need a good laugh. Somehow office banter, jokes, and odd behavior keeps the workday light and potentially fun. Chris and I have been catching up on our DVR and old Saturday Night Live episodes. Since the entire season had already recorded, we watched it backwards, and eventually got to the episode with Louis CK. I have always found him funny, and this particular skit made me laugh.

(Apologies for the ad that you have to allow to play before watching.)


Maybe it is not your kind of humor, but I had this strange desire to try to pull it off in the office for a day. My problem: I would not be able to keep a straight face, and would bust out laughing on my first try.

Have a wonderful long weekend (if you live in the US, and have Monday off).

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.