Getting Through the Summer Doldrums

Sunset over Lake Erie
Sunset over Lake Erie, Geneva, Ohio

Time to Snap out of the Doldrums

The summer is winding down finally and I’m looking forward to back-to-school. July was a tough slog. We started out the month taking Le Grand College Tour, visiting 3 schools with Tristan. First stop was Davidson College near Charlotte, NC, where we also got to visit with my sister Holly and her family. Then we drove through the Smoky Mountains to Sewanee, TN where we visited The University of the South. Finally we drove 11 hours up to Ohio, spent a day with my dad in Geneva, OH and toured Oberlin College. It was a good trip, but it left me playing catch up with work and so my pay for July was quite a bit short. The rest of the month was ho hum, coupled with car trouble and unexpected expenses.

The thing about July in Texas is that it is miserable. The rains stopped in May and it has been pretty much unrelentingly hot and dry ever since, except for two blessedly wet days. July is the month I always wish we lived in Vermont.

I was hoping that August would be my month to finally get working on this blog, but my work situation has changed enough to affect my plans. From here on out I don’t have steady work lined up, except for one day a week. I temporarily have some hours this month, so once again the blog will probably not get much attention. At a minimum, however, I wanted to give a few updates on previous posts.

My Baby Birdies (Final Update)

The day after I posted my last update on the babies (here) they were gone! Genevieve went out to check the nest and it was empty. There wasn’t any sign of trauma and all 4 birds were gone, so I optimistically take that to mean they fledged. I did some internet research and confirmed that that seemed plausible. They were 11 days old and weren’t fully feathered out yet, but apparently they often aren’t when they fledge. They’ll spend a few days in low bushes learning how to feed themselves and then it’s out in the cruel, cruel world.

Goodbye babies! We sure loved watching you.

We left the nest intact for a couple of weeks to see if mama would lay another brood, but nothing happened so the mailbox went back to its intended use by the USPS.

“Going Car-less” Update

Following up on this post about giving up my car.

Well…I had (have) good intentions and all, but we ended up buying a 3rd car in June. Genevieve wasn’t having any luck finding a job within walking distance and her old job wanted her back. With Tristan having the minivan out at camp all week we needed another vehicle. We ended up getting a new Mazda3 which is intended to be my vehicle (for the next 12 years maybe). It is very zippy and fuel efficient. I’m loving it.

Meanwhile the minivan needed thousands of dollars of repairs and after all the repairs were done it was still given a terminal diagnosis. Apparently it can’t maintain high enough oil pressure anymore because the engine is worn. So, Tristan is trying to eek out his final week at camp with it and then we’ll see what happens. At the moment we’re not intending to replace the minivan.

Looking Forward

This week I’m heading out to Pennsylvania to visit my mom, sister Sally and hopefully sister Becky too. Tristan has 1 week left working at camp and then he starts theatre practice and college applications and his final year of high school. Genevieve will be moving back to college August 20, while my husband’s stint as interim chairman of his department ends August 15th. It will be great to have everyone back to a standard routine.

I’m preparing for Fall in the garden. I’ve pulled out all the plants so I don’t have to worry about watering for a while and I’ve gotten rid of most of the weeds. It’s siesta time for Texas gardeners. I’ll be planting the winter crops in late-September.

I’m slowly working on some transformations around the house – getting rid of more plastics and using fewer disposables. This week I replaced two plastic hand soap bottles with repurposed glass bottles (beautiful cobalt blue one here). I’m filling them with hand soap that I make myself. I also bought 3 sets of new cloth napkins from a thrift store ($5/6 napkins) so that we will always have enough napkins available to use in place of paper. And, I’m looking into making beeswax cloth wraps to replace plastic wrap See post at

Genevieve is giggling away in the other room, so life must be good.

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