Life Lately

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It’s been almost a month since my last “Life Lately” post, so I figured I should probably write one today.  Before that, though, I want to apologize for the lack of my presence here this summer.  I have been very busy, with lots of visitors, projects, work, and vacations.  I’m sorry it’s been so quiet around here!

Given that my last post was about a month ago, this one might be a bit long.

Saturday, July 20th, I worked (painting window trim).  It was the first time I’ve gone more than one story high on a ladder.  I’ve found that the more I go on a ladder, and then higher I get, the more comfortable I am with heights and drop-offs.  I then hung out with one of my best friends for a few hours.  That Sunday I visited another one of my best friends (her mom was one  of my teachers and also a close friend, so seeing both of them was so nice!) for most of the afternoon and night.  It was great to catch up and hear how her first year of college went.  I didn’t get back until late, but the lack of sleep was well worth it!  I worked on Monday (I switched from the elementary school to the middle/high school, but am doing the same job), and a good family friend and her 3 little girls came to visit (they stayed until Friday).  I worked again Tuesday and Wednesday, and Wednesday late afternoon I went with one of my friends to visit another friend at the summer camp she works at.  We went to one of their grandparents’ properties, where there was the most gorgeous view of the valley, but it was very cold, so we didn’t stay long up there, but had a great visit.  I taught the oldest of the three girls visiting (she’s 6) how to use my sewing machine and the basics of sewing.  She was so proud of herself and I enjoyed teaching her!  On Friday, I had a dentist appointment and made healthy muffins.

The following Saturday (July 27th), I painted my bedroom ceiling.  The next day, I primed over the tree on my wall (I decided to forego priming the rest of the room, but figured the black would probably show through).  I worked at the school Monday through Thursday.  On Monday, I also visited with my maternal grandparents for quite a while.  On Wednesday night, I packed for our trip to Maine, and we left right after dinner on Thursday night.  We stayed the night at my aunt, uncle, and cousins’ house that night.  It was the first time in almost two years that I’ve had a chance to really talk to my cousin who is just 5 days younger than me, so although we stayed up way too late, it was great to catch up.  On Friday morning, we headed out early towards New Hampshire.  We stopped in Keene, NH, where my sister checked out University of New Hampshire at Keene with my mom while the rest of us walked around the downtown.  There were a number of cool stores, including an awesome, huge kitchen store with absolutely everything imaginable.  We spent that night at my cousin’s house (which is in Maine just past the New Hampshire border).  We admired their horses and played the French version of Bocce Ball, otherwise known as Pétanque.  It was a lot of fun!  The next morning (Saturday) we headed out towards Acadia National Park.  We arrived in the late afternoon, so we made dinner at our campsite, then headed to Bar Harbor to check things out.  We mostly walked around and hung out by the shore.

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On Sunday, we drove up Cadillac Mountain, which is in the park, and took a bit of a hike to get better views.  We then drove to Bar Harbor and walked around.  We signed up to do a sea kayaking tour around the Porcupine Islands.  We departed for that around 6.  We’ve kayaked quite a bit, but we’ve never sea kayaked.  It was definitely a fun and exciting experience! We had to go to shore on one of the islands for a short while because of a thunderstorm over the ocean, but were able to complete most of the tour.  One of the families in our group was from Wales, so we also enjoyed talking with them.  After that, we quickly changed into dry, warmer clothes and ate dinner at a lobster shack.  I tried haddock.  I think I like haddock, but I didn’t like it fried.  On Monday, we drove the Park Loop around Acadia.  We got off at one place where you can climb for a long time on the boulders along the water.  We stopped at a picnic area to eat lunch and played several rounds of Pitch.  After that, we went to a couple small towns on Mount Desert Islands, including Seal Harbor, which was a very tiny but cute town.  There was an awesome store there called the “Naturalist’s Notebook”.  I have honestly never been to a store/place like that before.  We made dinner at our campsite and had s’mores before heading to bed pretty early.  On Tuesday, we headed towards home.  It was a long trip (about 9 hours), but it was well worth it.

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On Wednesday, I went back to work.  Afterwards, we went to our annual neighborhood picnic.  My uncle and his girlfriend had arrived from Tennessee earlier in the day and were also at the picnic (it was the 81st annual picnic for our neighborhood!).  Thursday, I worked, took a shower and got ready, then headed up to my friend’s house to help make and decorate a cake for one of our other friends.  We then went to Wing Night to celebrate our friend’s 19th birthday.  It was the first time all four of us have been able to get together since the very beginning of summer.  On Friday, I visited with aunts, uncles, and grandparents for most of the morning, then started painting my bedroom.  That night, I had a girls night with friends (and only got 2 hours of sleep! yikes!).  Saturday morning and afternoon I finished painting my room.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.  My cousins and their parents arrived before dinner, and we all hung out at my grandparents’ for the night.  On Sunday, we had a huge family reunion with my mom’s side of the family.  About 50-60 people showed up, including over 15 of my mom’s first cousins!

I worked again this Monday through today.  On Monday after work, I headed to our county fair (one of the very best in New York state!) with my cousin and her boyfriend.  We made sure to buy maple candy, just like we do every year.  We also hung out at my grandparents’ house.  My grandpa started singing and dancing in his chair quite randomly and out of the blue, which led to a lot of laughter.  It was sooo nice to have my mom’s entire family here.  It doesn’t happen very often, since her siblings live in Tennessee, Texas, and near Albany, NY.  I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in quite some time.  We had dinner at my grandparents’ home again on Tuesday and I went to the fair again for a bit with my dad.  On Wednesday I walked around the fair with my aunts, uncles, and two of my mom’s cousins, and then we all went to my grandparents’ once again.  We ordered pizza, surprising one of my aunts with a bit of a birthday celebration.  My grandpa sang once again.  His song choice (which I will not be sharing here) shocked us all a bit, and we were all laughing hysterically (the song he chose was the last one I would ever have expected from him, it was absolutely hilarious!).  We then said our goodbyes to everyone, since they all left this morning.  I worked today, spent some time catching up on my internet reading, read the most recent Country Living magazine, and then went down to the fair with my parents.  I’m really tired tonight, so I’m going to head to bed soon.  It will be so nice to have the opportunity to sleep in tomorrow!  I’ve been going pretty much non-stop for three weeks now and could really use some sleep.  I’m meeting a friend at the fair tomorrow for brunch at the Pancake Tent, but I’m not sure what else I have planned for the weekend.