Here are a few things that we’ve been up to lately. I’m going to try not to break down my entire summer day by day, but somehow that’s what seems to happen here.
Neve and I went strawberry picking last week. Spencer came too but since he finds strawberries repulsive, he sat in the van and read. We picked five baskets of berries and then headed to my parents’ house. We explored the garden, ate lots of fresh peas and had garden lettuce and freshly-dug potatoes for lunch. Those potatoes were the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in a long time – with butter and fresh dill … mmmm. Dessert was fresh strawberries with ice cream and milk.
My mom and I made jam and then Neve and I went home, where I made more jam. Followed by white cake and whipped cream to eat with strawberries. I also made chocolate-dipped strawberries and tea biscuits to bring to work to eat with strawberry jam. I’m still not tired of strawberries. In fact, they’re all gone now (except for the jam and some I froze) and I kind of want to go pick some more.
Spencer stayed at my parents to work for a few days. You may think to yourself, “What a nice boy to help out his grandparents!” Yes, he is a nice boy, but not that nice. He’s on a quest to earn money. But he did have a good time in the process. There are always machines to drive and meat to eat. What more could he ask for. Well maybe some Bob Dylan records and a piano, but a break from his regular routine is a good thing.
|Mowing the lawn with Grandpa's new tractor|
We were down to one child for a few days which was a nice break for us too. We scored a weekly invitation to watch Amazing Race Canada at a friends’ house, so we went on Wednesday. We went early so Neve could swim in their pool and then we all watched the show. The kids watched in the basement and Neve had such a good time she made us promise to return every week. Luckily it was just as fun for the adults watching upstairs, so we probably will go whenever we can.
Neve and I went to the Quarry on Friday. We couldn’t find anyone to come with us so it was just us two. We were both a little skeptical of that situation, but we had a great time. It was so hot that we spent lots of time in the water which made Neve happy. Then we zipped home for happy hour, followed by my parents coming for dinner and bringing Spencer home. We were going to barbeque burgers but our BBQ decided to die that very day. A fresh dose of propane didn’t resuscitate it, so Dale went to the neighbours to use theirs. Our BBQ was about 17 years old so I guess it paid its dues. Dale was in the process of building it a new brick pad to stand on, but now that honour will go to a new BBQ.
|See how handy Dale can be when he puts his mind to it! This is still our old BBQ in case you're concerned that we got ripped off on a new one.|
On Saturday we worked in the yard and then went out for dinner with friends. It was sunny and beautiful all day so I had visions of sitting on the patio but it was not meant to be. Almost as soon as we were seated on the patio at Cibo, the thunder and lightning started, followed by rain. They didn’t have room for us inside, so we dashed to Corrientes where we ate inside. Not quite like I imagined, but still fun to get together with friends.
And on Sunday we spent an awesome day at Grand Beach. Spencer had no interest in the beach and vowed to spend the whole time in the van reading. Since he would have died of heat exposure, I thought it best to let him stay home. Again we were down to one child but this time my niece Tia stepped up to the plate and became our daughter for the day. The day started off warm but overcast, but once the clouds moved out of the way, it was super hot and sunny. The water was refreshing but not too cold, the crowds weren’t too big, and it was all a very fun day. We laughed at all the people with glowing red sunburns until we got home and realized people were probably laughing at us. A few applications of aloe vera fixed that problem for the most part. After the beach, we went to Bob & Jan’s, except Jan is in PEI for a couple of weeks so Bob made us dinner and we sat on their lovely deck and hung out all evening.
In the photo above, I wanted to draw your attention to our beach caddy. Not the man, the cart. My dad built this for me years ago when the trip from the parking lot to the beach with three small children involved a long, awkward, exhausting heavy-laden trudge. Then we discovered the Quarry where you can basically park right next to the lake and can take a couple of trips if you really need to so we hadn't used the cart for a while. But we brought it to Grand Beach yesterday and it was still as awesome as ever. All the other beachgoers were struggling with chairs and umbrellas and coolers but we sailed right by them … all of us empty-handed and free except for Dale. He wasn't quite as excited about this as I was. But it was basically the highlight of my day. And it was a good day so that's saying a lot.
All in all, it was a pretty perfect summer weekend. This week we’ll be mostly sticking around home and getting ready for some time at the lake, followed by a trip to pick up Chloe in Quebec. Chloe still seems to be enjoying her time there. She says she’s able to understand French better than she thought she would but I get the impression she prefers listening over speaking. We’ve passed the two-week mark, and she’s now been away from me longer than ever before. It would be nice if she could fly home for a weekend in between. However, being independent is pretty awesome too so I’m proud of her.
Here's one last photo from another beautiful evening this week when Neve and I went on a little photo shoot to the Forks and City Hall. Good times. How I love you, summer.