• So, what's been going on, you wonder? Well for starters, my mother was here for two weeks, so I shut down everything I would normally do—I missed the final two weeks of the ESL program where I volunteer because I felt bad about leaving my mother here by herself, and she wasn't interested in going along. The idea of sitting in a room with the Guatemalans seemed to make her nervous. And I put a hold on my weekly newspaper column because I couldn't find a lengthy enough block of time to form any reasonable thoughts beyond "what's for lunch."
• I started using my swimming pool for something other than a mesmerizing visual and am actually swimming. Call it a form of claustrophobia or inexperience or wimpyness (you wouldn't be the first to call me a wimp, let me tell you), but I am afraid of deep water and of putting my head under water, so swimming is sort of a challenge for me, but I have made progress, I think.
• I learned something—gold jewelry and chlorine are not friends. My fingers are little large for my 27-year-old wedding ring, and I haven't been able to get it off for about a year, or whatever. After being in the pool everyday for over a week, I noticed my ring finger was a little itchy, as if I had been bitten by something, but it got worse, and I finally had to have my ring cut off. The jeweler explained that chlorine eats away at gold, and that chemical reaction left me with a ring-shaped acid burn that will take about a month to heal.
• I've already mentioned this, but Husband and I hosted a big party over the weekend, with about 20 guests all milling around the house, and it was wonderful. I want my house to always be filled with people milling around—eating food they enjoy, having conversations they enjoy, plopping down onto the couch as comfortably as if they were in their own houses. Just don't put your feet on the coffee table—it's new. No, no one put their feet on the table. I'm just saying.
• We went to two weddings in one day but only one reception. There ought to be a cordoned off section for dancing so the DJ isn't bellowing into the ears of everyone sitting at tables happily in conversations because the minute the music starts, all talking stops, and anyone not interested in cramming onto the dance floor goes home. Just a thought. Eustacia was in one of the weddings, the one where her best friend from childhood was the bride. She's the second from the top in this photo.
• I finally got back to writing my column by forcing myself to sit down at the table yesterday and forming cohesive thoughts beyond "what's for lunch," and I learned that at least a few Small Town readers have missed me. They called the paper to ask where I have been. That's nice. I'm back!
• And in the interest of putting my brain to work, I developed a newsletter for the orchestra and am trying desperately to get that off the ground. I still haven't jumped through all the hoops yet, but I'm willing to jump through them in a tutu, if that's what it takes for the idea to fly.
• Other than that, I really can't say what goes on here in this tree-swinging summer I'm having. I sat outside on my patio one afternoon and took these photos, filtered through Instagram. I think they represent the season well. Enjoy our summer.
My patio table top: