Author Archives: Jean

Summer Frustrations

The summer frustrations are filling my mind and my heart. This is not the summer I planned.

Part of it, I know, is the time of year.  Summer is sliding fast into the beginning of the school year. Seriously, they were stocking school supplies in Target before we even left for our trip!

My mood at this time of year is equally split between aw, summer is almost over and isn’t it time for these kids to go back to school already.  School starts exactly one month from today.

My summer frustrations are worse this year.  Probably because my expectations have not met my summer.

summer frustrations

While I generally try not to complain too much, I also know it can be a bit therapeutic to get things out of my system.  So, get ready for my list of mid-summer complaints.

My Summer Frustrations:

  1. I didn’t get to go on a good vacation!  Yes, we went on a trip.  It wasn’t the trip I had planned for this summer.  My husband and I had some communication issues as we was preoccupied with other things so only G went on that one (with his marching band).
    summer frustrations

    photo credit, G

    And while I’m glad he was able to go and have a good time, I’m still a bit sad none of us were able to experience it.

    summer frustrations

    photo credit, G

    He was happy to be on his own for a bit though…and I know he needed that.  I yelled and complained about the communication issues and I needed that.  I’ve mostly moved on from it.

  2. I tried to make the most of our trip and was met with mostly a chorus of complaints from the kids.  Even when you know it comes from the place of their ages, sometimes it still hurts.  And on top of that, I didn’t get to do some of the things I really wanted to do.
    summer frustrations

    Due to yet another misunderstanding, we missed our tour of Carlsbad Caverns despite rushing through the natural entrance so fast, I called it the Carlsbad Caverns 5K.

    My planning may have been a bit off due to the circumstances and of course, I understood but it was still disappointing. Due to yet another misunderstanding, we had to rush through the cavern and still missed our tour. I’m pretty sure we were the only ones who were sweating at the end of the entrance.  I started referring to it as our Carlsbad Caverns 5K.  We did at least get to see the bat program, really worth your time if you ever get down that way.

  3.  We haven’t followed through on any of our summer theme days.  I know I’m partly to blame for this one.  We managed one mangled library trip (together) all summer. We haven’t even been to the pool one time outside of our trip.  And since I’m complaining, I’d really like to be sitting on my nonexistent backyard pool deck sipping a drink with a paper umbrella.  summer frustrations No, we have no unfinished plans to build a backyard pool.  Just threw that in there.
  4. The electronics are taking over! While I can realize, that talking to friends on Skype while playing video games is the new communication, it doesn’t make it any less annoying at times.  Especially, the late at night stuff.  Teenagers are creatures of the night which is fine to an extent.  The grouchy mornings mid-afternoons are wearing on me though. Maybe if I called the kids on Skype, they’d listen?
  5. The house is always a mess and these people are always hungry but never want to eat the food we have here.  I imagine that’s a universal complaint of parents everywhere.  Please, tell me that one is not just me.

I could continue but I must stop.  J’s awake and is having a friend over in a bit so I must figure out if we have any food for 3 kids to not want to eat as opposed to just 2.

And yes, I realize my complaints are all “small stuff” but they were weighing me down so I had to get them out of my system.

After all, Festivus is only 6 months away.

If there’s Christmas in July all over the blogging world, why not Festivus?  Want to air a few grievances and see if it makes you feel better? You’re welcome to go ahead in the comments (just nothing too mean, please).

Hopefully, I’ll be back tomorrow with my plan for salvaging what’s left of our summer.

Happy Homemaker Monday, Right Back To Busy

We were away last week on a trip, I suppose you could call it a vacation.  I’m not sure I would call it that.

Sometimes trying to make the best of things still leaves you feeling a bit flat.  We had an unexpected death in the family the week before we left.  Going to a funeral the day before leaving for an extended trip was a bit rough.

It was the kind of vacation that left me needing a vacation but not because we did too much. In fact, it was if anything the opposite.

We cut our trip a bit short to come home earlier for a family member’s birthday.  I wanted to be selfish and go on our entire and probably much too long trip but the teenager encouraged us to do the right thing so we skipped the mountains and arrived home on Friday as opposed to Sunday evening.

Now, it’s back to the reality of a busy week.  I am glad though to be back to blogging. Once again, I’m joining in the Happy Homemaker Monday link up hosted by Sandra over at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom.

The Weather This Week

Funny, we went to the desert last week only to return to heat advisory weather here this week.  Mid to upper 90s all week.  Add in the humidity and it’s going to feel lots hotter out there.

Right Now I Am

Barely awake, drinking my coffee with almond milk and trying to get this post together before the boys wake up and I lose my computer to J.

On My Reading Pile

Returned all my overdue books to the library before we left on our trip.  J did want to read with me last night (hardly ever happens!) so I grabbed an old favorite off the shelf. I’m now re-reading A Wrinkle In Time.

Movies Or Shows I Watched This Weekend

I did watch one of my favorite movies on the way home from our trip.  The Martian will get you from Oklahoma City to El Dorado, Kansas if you are traveling the turnpike.  Yesterday, I also watched Interstellar, a $5 Wal-Mart bin find. And yes, I do have a weird obsession with incredibly long space movies (especially ones with Matt Damon ;)).

The only other things I watched over the weekend were a few episodes of Orange Is The New Black with my husband. And The Candy Crush game show, it was okay.

On My TV

I’m not really sure. It’s going to be so hot that I’m sure we’ll be watching a bit of it.

Menu For This Week

I’ve been told summer weather and spaghetti do not go together so I guess that’s off the menu until cooler days arrive.  Our record for choosing quality restaurants on this trip was a little sad so I’m going to try to make things I know we all like this week.

MONDAY:  Tacos

TUESDAY:   Ham (in freezer), potatoes, and cornbread  *I have Bunco*

WEDNESDAY:  Chicken legs

THURSDAY:   Roast in the Crock Pot *I work 12-6* *Mom’s Night Out* (it’s usually not the same as Bunco week except for this month)

FRIDAY:  Hoping my husband will cook fish  *I work 12-6*

On My To-Do List

Um, everything!

  1. Pay bills
  2. Mow the lawn
  3. Finish up laundry (thankfully, this is mostly done)
  4. Make Doctor appointments for the boys
  5. See if there is a way to squeeze a weekend trip in before school starts
  6. Register boys for school
  7. Put batteries in the kitchen clock
  8. Clean out fridge before Tuesday
  9. Get Summer materials for a couple of G’s classes
  10. Make some plans for J next week since G has band practice
  11. Look up driver’s ed course times for G
  12. Figure out plan for de-cluttering and cleaning the whole house
  13. Practice more with camera, I didn’t get enough practice before our trip and it shows
  14. Write a few trip reviews for trip advisor
  15. Break down and make a summer bucket list for our last 4 weeks of summer (!!)

What I Am Creating

I’d like to create a clean, organized house in time for back to school.  We’ll see how that goes…

Looking Around The House

It’s been worse but for some reason I’m in a spring cleaning mood.  I think it started when I realized house-keeping doesn’t follow you home from your hotels.

From The Camera

I was a bit obsessed with the skies in New Mexico and Texas. The first two are New Mexico skies. The second photo is the sky at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas.

What I’m Wearing Today

Still in my nightshirt at the moment.  Will probably go change into a tee-shirt and jean shorts and tennis shoes to mow and then, a new tee-shirt and shorts  and sandals after that.

Simple Pleasure

The sights and sounds of home.  I love to travel but (for me) nothing beats sitting on my own front porch with the cat enjoying the flowers, green grass, and tall trees as the lightning bugs start dotting the sky in time to the cicadas’ chorus along with the background noises of distant lawn mowers and light traffic.

Quote For The Week

Do you have a busy week on your horizon?

Short Summer Break

Don’t worry the boys’ summer break isn’t over quite yet.  Though I did just see the school district post about enrollment mailings starting this week.

However, I am going to officially hop away from the blog for a bit starting today and spend some more time off-line.

I’ll return the week of Monday, July 17, hopefully joining right in with a Happy Homemaker Monday post.



Happy Homemaker Monday, Fourth of July Week

I’m getting my post together on Sunday evening as I’d like to break my current trend of posting so late in the week.  While I’m at it, I’d like to break the current trend of hardly posting each week.  No promises.

Let’s just move on and get to the categories.  Don’t forget to go check in on all the other great bloggers linked up with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom.

The Weather This Week

Temps in the high 80s to low 90s with chances of thunderstorms most days this week.

Right Now I Am

Drinking a cup of Chai green tea with a splash of almond milk and working on this post.

On My Reading Pile

*Hanging my head in shame* The same stack of overdue library books as last week.  They MUST go back tomorrow.

Movies or Shows I Watched This Weekend

Not sure if it was officially the weekend when we watched it but J and I both enjoyed BFG on Netflix very much.  He said it did not quite follow the book. I also watched The Matrix (We own it!) and several episodes of That 70s Show (So funny but absolutely not for the kiddos!) and a bit of a documentary series about the Galapagos islands.

Who was that person last week saying something about not watching so much TV and focusing on reading and cleaning house?

On My TV

If at first you don’t succeed…

Menu For The Week

Summer means I hardly follow my menu plans so lots of carry overs week to week. This week I’m trying to use mostly what we have on hand.

MONDAY:  Pork Chops and baked potatoes

TUESDAY:*Fourth of July*  Going to a party at a friend’s house.  Taking Crunchy Coleslaw per my husband’s request plus probably some sort of dessert.

WEDNESDAY: Breakfast for dinner, bacon and pancakes

THURSDAY: Rotisserie Chicken probably *I work 10 to 6*

FRIDAY: Not sure…maybe fish & chips *Coffee with a friend in the a.m.*

On My To-Do List

  1. Go to the grocery store
  2. Go to Target
  3. Take the books back to library (This should be first on the list!)
  4. Laundry, must be caught up by end of the week
  5. Experiment with making some snacks
  6. Clean whole house, room each day perhaps.

What I Am Creating

Not much.  I could change the title to what I am battling in my flower garden and say Japanese beetles which are swarming my boxwood plants and bud worms which have discovered my geraniums and probably the petunias as well.

Ugh. Any gardeners out there with advice for me? Don’t want to use anything that might hurt bees or other caterpillars.

Looking Around The House

It’s not too awful.

From The Camera

Exciting news on the camera front.  I finally just yesterday, got a new one! I wasn’t quite ready (and neither was our budget) for a full on DSLR camera so I went with a bridge camera.  Since my little Nikon Coolpix S6100 has served me very well since 2010, I stayed brand loyal and bought a Nikon Coolpix B500.

A few pictures from my new camera practice…no editing except a tiny bit of cropping on the cat photo. Let me apologize now for the photo overload.

The macro setting fascinates me.  Funny, I couldn’t even have told you what that was a year ago and now I know it’s for close-up photos. Then, there’s this 40x zoom function.  I still need to practice with it.  These creatures were on the far edge of the neighbor’s driveway. I zoomed in on this Mimosa tree branch from my back deck.  The tree is on the next block in a neighbor’s front yard. I can’t take credit for the next photo.  J took it.  He captured her personality perfectly. Finally, I must share a photo of the camera that’s been behind the blog previously.  Still functions despite the messed up lens cover.

What I’m Wearing Today

Since it’s Sunday night, I’m about to change into my pajamas.  No idea what I’ll wear tomorrow but today I wore an old tee-shirt sporting the boys’ elementary school and black shorts.

Simple Pleasure

Trying to learn a new skill (playing with my new camera!).

Quote For The Week

Keep your face always toward the sunshine-and the shadows will fall behind you.  (Walt Whitman)


Just in case I don’t get back to posting this week, hope everyone who celebrates it has a wonderful, safe, and happy Fourth of July!



Happy Homemaker Uh, Wednesday?

Unexpectedly working early on a Monday morning and working again on Tuesday means not nearly enough time to work on my blog! Add in the kids home on summer break and I get even less time.

Having a plan in my head is not the same as having it all typed out so I can refer back to it.  Yes, I come back and check what I wrote so I can remember my weekly plan. Am I the only one?

It also means, I miss catching up with Sandra and all the other great bloggers who join in her weekly Happy Homemaker Monday link up.  It’s just before 8:00a.m. on Wednesday morning so I’m going to see if I can’t still join in the weekly fun.

The Weather This Week

Who knows.  It seems to change every time I check my phone app or watch the weather on TV.  It rained a bit Monday, yesterday was super nice, and today there’s a chance of a thunderstorm.

Right Now I Am

Drinking my coffee and writing this blog post.

On My Reading Pile

The usual stack of overdue library books.  I want to start The Terror by Dan Simmons but have to check and see if I need to renew it first.  Everything else can go back.

Movies Or Shows I Watched This Weekend

The only thing I really watched was season 2 of Quantico on Netflix.  Not quite as good as season 1 even if I did watch the entire thing in a matter of days.  End of the season was a bit anti-climatic, still glad there will be a season 3.

On My TV

No idea.  Need to focus more on cleaning and reading than watching TV this week.

On The Menu For This Week

Monday:  My husband fried crappie (fish) *I worked 10-2 and then was called back to work 4-6*

Tuesday:  Spaghetti with meat sauce *I worked 9:30-noon*

Wednesday: Turkey sausages and salad

Thursday: Chicken of some sort (maybe homemade Chik-Fil-A sandwiches)  *I work 8:30 to 5*

Friday:  Pork chops and potatoes (might switch Thursday and Friday menus around)

On My To-Do List

  1. Grocery store
  2. Pay bills
  3. Whole house clean up (today)
  4. Take overdue library books and other items back to library
  5. General shopping
  6. Make more detailed list of several small house cleaning/organizing projects to complete

What I Am Creating

Sigh.  Nothing.

From The Camera

I keep waiting impatiently for the pot of lavender on the front porch to bloom.

What I’m Wearing Today

Jean shorts and my South Dakota tee-shirt

Simple Pleasure

Sitting on my front porch.

Quote For The Week

Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.  (Dalai Lama)


What kind of summer week are you having?

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