Friday, July 6, 2007

Our Summer Motto: Work Hard and Play Harder

The July 4'th Holiday is the midpoint of most people's summertime. Well, Jack and I also subscribe to this thinking so this means just one thing: we got to start working harder at playing harder this summer.
We have had quite a few parties which I will discuss later in more detail but it seems that we have been in catchup mode since we got home from our road trip. Catchup on the house, the garden, the travel photo albums (We've filled six with some of the 1200 pics we took on our trip.) the extended family, the neighbors and the ironing! The ironing---I finally got around to that yesterday and after about five hours I reached the bottom of the stack. I stopped counting the number of long sleeved shirts I ironed up for Jack when I hit number 30! My daughters can't believe that I still iron clothes. Actually I enjoy ironing. It's great to see a crumpled up piece of fabric turn into this spiffy well pressed cloth. I think ironing is becoming a lost art. Otherwise, why would Martha Stewart have to give a TV lesson on how to iron a shirt?
The Bambi encounter and the flying ant home invasion also kept us hopping for awhile. I am happy to report that I have found several deer remedies in a book I bought at Merrifield Garden Center last week: Deer Proofing Your Yard & Garden written by Thonda Hart. We learned from the salesperson that animals are smart so you have to frequently vary what you are using for a deterrent. With that advice in mind we bought the book and a $50 container of liquid deer deterrent at Merrifield. $50! I know. Apparently deer proofing your yard costs big bucks. No pun intended.We also stopped at Blooms Grocery and bought several cakes of Irish Spring soap. We sprayed the $50 stuff on all our beds. It smelled like someone had just thrown up in the yard. Whee! If I were a deer, I would skip that yard too. Well, guess what? The deer stayed away after the spraying. Even our cute little brown bunnies skipped munching in our lawn for a few days. And I stayed away from the swing for a few days too. The stench was too great for my nose. But I haven't seen any traces of deer plant attacks. Yeah!!
To be on the safe side I'm going to the skewer the cakes of Irish Spring and stick them in the ground too. We have learned of several homemade remedies:

human hair (doesn't work)
human male urine (does work if you can find willing male)
rotten eggs in water (does work but hold your nose)
Another application of Liquid Sevin along the perimeter of the house has solved the flying ant problem.
So now that we have caught up on our chores and have solved our house and garden invasions we are in the mood to party once more. We have had three Loop wine tastings. These are always impromptu events when the weather cooperates and people are available on the loop. Dickie and Scott hosted back-to-back wine tastings the first two nights that we were back from our trip. (I think the neighbors were anxious to hear about our adventures on our trip and I think Jack and I were anxious to hear what the neighbors had been doing in April and May. Jack and I hosted a wine tasting last Saturday night for Dickie and Scott to discuss the D.C. Folklife Festival.
I had the opportunity to attend two important parties in June. June 10 my second daughter, Jeanine, and her apartment roomie, Maria, hosted a Baby Shower for my older daughter Jennifer who is expecting our grandson on July 7'th. I contributed some food and flowers for the event but Jeanine and Maria did all the party prep work: decorations, food, drinks and games. Yes, we had to play a game or two. Like do you know the current price of a box of pampers? I managed to overprice everything on that game list. That must mean I have a bad memory which I know I don't (because my older sister says I have a great memory) or else the cost of having a baby has decreased since the '70s in Arizona. Did we have Walmart in AZ in the '70s? Maybe that's it. The most fun at this baby shower was watching Jenn open each gift and getting to decorate bibs with funny sayings. Here are some of the sayings:
I Love My Aunt Jeanine
Feed Me!!!
Got Milk?
I Love My Daddy!
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Baby On The 4'th of July 2007
Party: My Crib 3:00 A.M.

Friday June 15 I had the opportunity to attend the retirement party at Waterford of Springfield for Dr. Jackson, my last principal, who is leaving Franconia Elementary this summer. I learned that the Franconia School Library will be renamed the Dr. Jackson Library and since my days at Franconia were spent managing the school library this news makes me very happy. Besides having a chance to say thank you and good by to Dr. Jackson it was a great party for meeting lots of current and former Franconia school folks. Check out my pics of myself with some old school friends: Eleanore Callaway, Lorraine Mitchell, Peggy Bedwell, Martha McCash, Lydia Hunter and Florence Stewart. Didn't manage to get a pic of Dr. Jackson or Susan Lloyd or Sue McNamee but enjoyed talking with them.

With all these parties in June it was difficult to find a weekend to have a family barbecue in honor of past events that we needed to celebrate but we did make time on June 23'rd to celebrate the following missed celebrations:

Mother's Day
Father's Day
Memorial Day
Joann's Birthday
Jennifer's Birthday
We had lots of barbecue and side dishes, lots of presents to open and lots of laughs when daughter Jeanine gave me my most unusual birthday present:
The Official Duck Fart Kit. Please check out the photo of the Duck Fart Kit. It even includes a little green duck that looks embarrassed because he just passed gas. The Duck Fart Kit was given to me because I had a Duck Fart Drink at the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau, Alaska on our Alaskan Cruise.
Would you like to know what is in a Duck Fart?
The Duck Fart
Carefully layer each of the following liquors in the order listed from top
to bottom into a shot glass then sip gently and decorously:
3/4 oz Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey
3/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
3/4 oz Kahlua Coffee Liqueur

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