Because It’s Tradition

Coral Toes

I’m not sure when it started.

Possibly it began with my mother photographing her feet in the sand every time she went on a beach vacation, or possibly not.

Maybe my friend Deb and I started it together, or maybe it came from just one of us.

But now, it’s tradition. We get a pedicure, we snap a picture of our toes. (It might have started, actually, the year I began letting the pedicurists do nail art on my toes, something I no longer do.)

Today was the first pedicure I’ve had since June.

As always it was bliss.

And I took a picture.

Cruel Summer?

Nearly a month ago, I sat at my computer looking for a clip of “June is Bustin’ Out All Over,” from Carousel, to post in my blog.

sunflower_by_ajjoelle_via_morguefile

Sunflower | Click to embiggen

I never found it, as real life and other distractions caused me to give up the search (though I vaguely remember enjoying the process), but it doesn’t matter because June is nearly over – just over a week, and we’ll be into July.

It’s hard to believe that the year is nearly half over, but here we are, a few minutes from the solstice (which, I’m told, happens at 1:04 AM EDT on Friday the 21st (I’m writing this just before midnight CDT on Thursday the 20th. (Don’t you just LOVE nested parentheses?))), and in the morning Summer will be completely here.

I also meant to write a Thursday Thirteen today, but the day slipped away from me, and there are too many negative things that are circling my brain right now:
– the main company I write for has no work for me for at least a month
– a client that I initially wanted to decline disappeared without paying me
– my arm still hurts (though two massages in Mexico have shown me that the pain in my elbow is really radiating from my shoulder)
– the a/c in the car is not working
– I’m cranky and kinda hormonal.

Despite all this, I’m trying to find the positive. Like, not having a ton of contract work (actually none, at the moment) means I can rest my shoulder and elbow, and work on my own writing instead of giving my best hours over to other people’s tasks.

And then, of course, there’s Max and Perry and Teddy, who are the three best dogs ever, and who need me to help them figure out their new pack order.

There’s the sparkling pool in my backyard, and the sunny weather, and the luxury of not having a day job outside the house, so I can swim whenever I want.

So maybe the first couple hours of this summer are tainted by cosmic cruelty, but this all only reinforces what I said in yesterday’s post, and things are aligning the way I need them to be.

Thursday 13: Summer Dreams

Miss Rio

As much as I complain about the summer weather in Texas, there are certain parts of summer I love. As a kid, my summers were spent at the Jersey Shore; now I pretty much live in my pool from mid-May through mid-September. In any case, I haven’t done a Thursday-13 in ages, and since I’ve refreshed the blog, it seems appropriate to visit favorite memes.

Here, then, are 13 Things I Love About Summer (Then and Now):

  1. Sand: In my hair, between my toes, and stuck in the folds of damp bathing suits. I was with my Mother in Mexico in June, and my beach bag still has traces of sand in it.
  2. Sea & Ski: I’m pretty sure they don’t make it any more, but those funky green and brown bottles were ubiquitous when I was little. Not only did that sunscreen stay on in water, but it had this indefinable “beachy” smell that I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to recapture with aquatic perfumes for decades.
  3. Noxema: Yes, in previous incarnations of this blog I’ve written whole posts about Noxema, but I love it. I still use it.
  4. Tan Lines: Okay, look, I know you’re not supposed to sun-bathe, and I don’t, I swear. I even remember to use sunscreen (most of the time) but the tan lines I get are from swimming for a couple of hours every day, not from lying around imitating broiling meat.
  5. White Cotton T-shirts: While these are hardly restricted to summer, there’s something about a simple white t-shirt that is instantly soothing. They’re soft enough for sun-burned skin, make tan skin look tanner, and go with shorts, skirts, jeans, or just over a bathing suit. As a kid, my favorite summer “pajamas” were my grandfather’s cast-off t-shirts.
  6. Natural Highlights: Okay, we all know this mermaid hasn’t seen her natural hair color for more than 1/4 of an inch at a time since she was fifteen, but the blonde color being sported this summer is naturally enhanced by the sun. (And I had strawberry blonde/golden brown hair when I was young, I swear!)
  7. Swimming: I am my most creative self when I get to splash around in water every day. I love having my own pool, and in summer, I’m in it for hours every day. On heavy writing days, I do my own version of “interval training” where I write for thirty minutes and swim for thirty minutes all day.
  8. Going Bare: Bare feet and bare faced, that is. I love shoes, but I love being barefoot even more, and this summer, I’m so sun-kissed that I haven’t worn make-up since mid-June, except for a little gloss and mascara. (I do, however, moisturize. Religiously.)
  9. Beach Reading: I don’t generally read at beaches, but I love reading beachy books. Anne Rivers Siddons, Dorothy Benton Frank, Wendy Wax, Nancy Thayer, Elin Hilderbrand – these authors (and others) keep me entertained all summer, in between the books I read for review.
  10. Shark Week: This year is the 25th edition of The Discovery Channel’s salute to all things sharky, and while I have never, ever missed a year, I’m giddy with delight that Shark Week spans my birthday this year.
  11. Summer Produce: Last month, I wrote about watermelon over at All Things Girl but I also love peaches and plums and avocados and fresh tomatoes and berries of every ilk.
  12. Late Sunsets: While I believe Daylight Saving Time has outlived it’s usefulness now that we live in a 24/7 society, I still enjoy long summer evenings. There’s nothing like floating on your back in the pool and watching the first stars come out. (I could do without the mosquitoes, though.)
  13. My Birthday: As a kid, I hated that my birthday was in August – August 17th, to be specific – because my friends were all off on last vacations with their families before school started. Now, though, I revel in my August birthday, because there’s NO COMPETITION. No holidays (well, sometimes Ramadan, but that doesn’t affect very many of my friends), not many other birthdays (September, however, is glutted with them) – it’s MY MONTH. (I share with others, but…only a select few). You’d think that since I’m turning 42 next week, I’d be upset about my birthday, but that’s not true at all. I love celebrations. I love having a cake with my name on it. I take the day off work and celebrate myself. Birthdays are AWESOME!

So that’s my list…what are your favorite things about summer? I really want to know!

Buzz-Kill – Weathering Wasps

All during the month of June, there was a wasp – I’m pretty sure it was the same one – that would linger in one corner of the swimming pool. I would shoo it away, and it would come right back. It drove me crazy, because it would buzz my head every time I came up for air, even though if I was under water it was happy enough to linger on its favorite blue tile.

Wasps don’t have a terribly long life-span; by the first week of July it had disappeared.

Last week, wasps began turning up in my bathroom, which is perplexing since the only window in that room doesn’t open. Since then, there have been three wasps in the bedroom, and about one a day in the kitchen, though on Friday, when Chris (who is not afraid of wasps and spiders) was away there were THREE on the back door.

Two of them, I eventually convinced to leave the house, through the back door that I slid open, inch by inch. The third was demolished, and then devoured, by Miss Minnie the Pocket Pointer.

I do love a dog who eats bugs.

We haven’t been able to find a nest, but I know there has to be one, and when we find it, those little bits of buzzing annoyance are dead.

Buzz-Kill: Weathering Wasps

All during the month of June, there was a wasp – I’m pretty sure it was the same one – that would linger in one corner of the swimming pool. I would shoo it away, and it would come right back. It drove me crazy, because it would buzz my head every time I came up for air, even though if I was under water it was happy enough to linger on its favorite blue tile.

Wasps don’t have a terribly long life-span; by the first week of July it had disappeared.

Last week, wasps began turning up in my bathroom, which is perplexing since the only window in that room doesn’t open. Since then, there have been three wasps in the bedroom, and about one a day in the kitchen, though on Friday, when Chris (who is not afraid of wasps and spiders) was away there were THREE on the back door.

Two of them, I eventually convinced to leave the house, through the back door that I slid open, inch by inch. The third was demolished, and then devoured, by Miss Minnie the Pocket Pointer.

I do love a dog who eats bugs.

We haven’t been able to find a nest, but I know there has to be one, and when we find it, those little bits of buzzing annoyance are dead.