August: Vacation/Staycation: Recipe


This isn’t quite a recipe, however…

Whether traveling to somewhere new or visiting somewhere you’ve been before, snacks are important. Here are five Snacks to Pack!

Snacks to Pack!

1. Craisins or Raisins. These come in individual packages or you can share them using Ziploc snack sized bags.

2. Pretzels. My kids always want cheese doodles. Orange fingers in the car? Absolutely not!

3. Bottles of water.

4. Granola Bars. They come in all kinds of varieties; my favorites are Nature Valley’s Pecan Nut Crunch.

5. Cereal in Ziploc bags. Cheerios, Kix, Lucky Charms are great for this kind of traveling snack.

Enjoy your summer, whether you’re traveling far or staying near.

August: Vacation/Staycation


August comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.

That’s April.

That’s not right.

March is the lion and the lamb.

August is hot.

It has no personality of its own.

It’s school supplies already gathering dust.

It’s vacation.

It’s my wedding anniversary.

It’s an oven that doesn’t work, but if it did work, I’d complain that I’d have to turn it on in August.
It’s lazy and hazy and the air is muddy like April’s boots.

It’s melancholy and lethargic.

Or is that just me?

But it’s not all that bad, I suppose.

The birds are noisy, the grass is green.

The spices are fragrant.

The whirr of the air conditioner.

The hosta petals on the ground, and bunny prints in the drying rain.

I guess we’ll give August a chance.
Let’s go.

27/52 – August


August is a many headed beast.

It is still summer, so we’re trying to fit in everything we can possibly fit into a month when we should have really started in June. The  month’s only begun, and I feel as though I’ve lost the fight.

On Monday, my daughter had a doctor’s appointment, and while we were “in the neighborhood” we decided to go to the orchard to find some local jams and such for the hostess gift for my mother in law’s cousins who we’ll be staying with in a couple of weeks. Our summer holiday is coming soon!

Wednesday was a spur of the moment visit to the capital to see the painted dogs. (I’ll share more details next week in a travel post.) We spent the whole day driving around the capital, looking at a map of dogs, and taking pictures and selfies of and with the dogs, replicas of the famous RCA Nipper. This is a good addition to our photo collection of cats, horses, and ballet slippers.

Thursday is therapy and getting my hair taken care of.

Friday, we’ll be driving two hours one way for visiting hours for my cousin’s father who just died.

And then the real busy begins: VBS for the little ones, work for the older one, mass, reconciliation, gishwhes, ministry meeting, interfaith meeting, vacation, geocache meet up, my 23rd anniversary, Marian retreat day, school supply shopping, and a quick family visit.

It’s also hot.

Very hot.

But right now, at the very beginning, it feels endless, and so, so busy, but I know that it will fly by much too fast, especially the vacation and the family visits. We will take a ridiculous amount of pictures, and it will be too many, and still not enough.

I think August is the tangible of time is fleeting.

It’s slow and daunting and never ending until it’s over, and then there’s so many things that didn’t happen or get done, and we wonder where all the time went, but it’s right there on the calendar. I don’t think any other month moves in the waves of heat and smog and thunderstorms that August does, ever cloudy and hard to see through, but then the other side is just there.


It ends before it begins.

I’m thinking of a quote from Carrie Fisher‘s most recent book, The Princess Diarist; the one she published close to when she died. Actually, I’m thinking of two of her quotes among a million equally meaningful and  memorable, insightful. There was so much in that book. The voice of forty years in between was full of humor and sadness, and understanding while that forty years passed by like all the Augusts do. The quotes were about looking ahead, being yourself, and letting others judge you, or rather not letting others judge you. Why do we let others judge us? Why do we care what the world thinks? 

She was Carrie Fisher, and she did. What chance do I have?

“I was always looking ahead to who I wanted to be versus who I didn’t realize I already was…”

“Do not let what you think they think of you make you stop and question everything you are.”

August Month in Review


Well, overall it looks like August sucked. Nothing like proof that your brain is in a fog. Some good things – we did our summer taste tasting (hate anchovies), went to Chuck E. Cheese to round out the summer vacation, took the family to the movies (Labor Day weekend).

Midway through the month I was able to attend a spiritual retreat with about fifteen other folks, directed by Brother Mickey McGrath. I will write more about this later on, so for now I will just say that I don’t draw, and I did draw, and I continue to draw. I don’t kid myself: I’m not an artist, but it’s not terrible, and I don’t mind sharing it. It’s an outlet for quiet contemplation that I had never considered before. I really only went for the retreat part and because I’d heard so many things about Bro. Mickey. I found so much more and am planning on attending his next retreat in February (money and scholarship pending).

My daughter and I had a Fangirls Night Out sponsored by our comic book store. There were raffles (we won Willow from Buffy!), cupcakes, a raffle and of course other like-minded fangirls. NO BOYS ALLOWED! Even the store’s owner was kicked out! It was great fun and she and I had a great time together!

My husband and I also celebrated our twentieth anniversary. With money being a problem we really couldn’t celebrate in a big way, but we decided (I thought of it – I can’t believe it, I never come up with anything good!) to go to dinner (sans kids) and a movie, like our first date. We saw Guardians of the Galaxy. I highly recommend it! Fantastic movie! And dinner was amazing. A local, rustic place with a pretty fireplace. The site has had a tavern on it since the 1700s. A nice night.

Thinking back, it’s kind of ironic that we went to Williamsburg, VA on our honeymoon when many of my fandom friends live down there now including my bf, who I obviously didn’t know back then. I think that half of them may have still been in diapers when I was there (and they were actually elsewhere). I’ve written before about Williamsburg being one of my special places from childhood. I’ve always been a history buff, and much of that came from my parents and the vacations they took us on as children, only one of them being Virginia.

I distinctly remember Williamsburg (among others) and having as much fun as we were quietly learning. Everywhere my parents took us, and later on vacations with my husband, I was always looking for and visiting the one room schoolhouses. Something about that entranced me; probably it’s Little House on the Prairie feeling.

It was neat that my husband and I chose to go there for our honeymoon: Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, shopping (one of my favorite things to do back then; now too, but we had more money back then). We rented a car, a Cougar that went 90 miles an hour if you breathed on the accelerator. We traveled the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel, something that still makes me queasy and that I’ve sworn never to do ever, ever again. (Much like driving in Wales.) I still shudder to think at the memory of being in the tunnel for so long, under the water. Recently, I’ve been lucky (with the generosity of Andy, Jenn and my husband) to have been able to get back there to see my friends for fandom fun. I’ve talked about how I used to hate being alone, but I really enjoyed those two trips that had me traveling alone-ish, and this trip down memory lane is reminding me that I wanted to write about those travels. I’ll put it on the list.

So while the written word eluded me, I’ve been drawing and this was probably the best family summer we’ve had in a long time. I welcomed back to school, but I wasn’t counting the days (hours) like I was last year.

Don’t forget that October 18 is E4K and I will be taking pledges.

I also have a couple of things that should be completed today and tomorrow, so wish me luck for more words in September.

Word Count: 6771 (wow, that sucks)

365s: 7/31 (wow, that sucks)

Movies: Defiance seasons 1 and 2
The Birdcage
Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction
The Italian Job
Babylon 5 – season 5
Amazing Spiderman 2 – reboot
Crusade – partial season
Guardians of the Galaxy

Books: A King’s Ransom – Sharon Kay Penman
Paper Towns – John Green

Posted/Published Topics: depression, suicide, Gishwhes, medical, health, cancer, religion, spirituality, social issues, summer

WIPs topics: Retreat wrap up, Gishwhes wrap up, fan vs. fandom, memoir homework, vignettes for stuff