Project Summer

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Whew. It’s been a while.

Since I’ve had a real summer, that is.  Everyone thinks that teachers are so lucky because we get the summers off.  While that is true, that hasn’t been true for me. I’ve been teaching for 12 years, and I’ve worked for 11 summers. I realized pretty fast that I couldn’t afford to not work a summer. Unlike our other LI teacher counterparts, we do not receive a bulk paycheck at the end of the school year – or any paycheck at all over the summer.
Well, in the fall, I decided to save my pennies and put aside a little stash so I wouldn’t have to work this summer – or at least, not work as hard.  While it was tight throughout the school year, it paid off (no pun intended).  So, this summer, I’m doing a little Bible curriculum writing, which will generate some cash, but it’s not the same as having a get-up-get-ready-put-in-a-day-at-the-office kind of job (the doctor’s office, that is – which had been my part-time second job for about 9 years).
So. It’s summer.  While I dream of the day when I can have a leisurely vacation and just wake up when I want, stroll to the beach, shop to my heart’s content…umm, that will not be this summer. And let’s be real…who actually does that? (Beside the L.I. Princesses?) Already, I have a feeling that my summer agenda might be a little ambitious.  I know I’m lucky compared to most people who just have a 2 or 3 weeks of vacation a year, but when I look at my Summer Project list, it feels like summer is too short.  However, I do have a few goals and things to accomplish, and I am beyond excited to get going on it.  True, it’s only July 3, but I know how fast the time goes.  Chop, chop – not a day to be wasted!
Here are my goals:
Project #1: House Clean Up:  We have been in our house for three-and-a-half years, so we haven’t had too much time to accumulate junk, but we have our fair share.  So, cleaning out the office (i.e. the-room-for-things-with-no-home room) and the basement are on the list.  We have a shed that is yet to be put together, covered with tarp, sitting in our yard; once that is assembled, lots of the stuff in the basement will be moved there. I would love it if I could transform the basement into some kind of usable, livable space by the end of the summer.
Project #2: Minor Re-models: Our bedroom needs to be painted and decorated. I haven’t done too much with the bedroom besides paint, hang curtains and put up our wedding picture. But the room is small and doesn’t have a lot of light.  The current colors and decor are a little too claustrophobic for that space.  I also want to paint the kitchen and see how I can spruce it up.  Those 80’s formica cabinets are tying me down a bit, but I’m exploring how I can work around it.
Project #3: Yard Sale-ing: Already started this one with some friends, and I’ve gotten the bug.  Because of the Project #2, this is a valid use of my time (she said, as she tries to convince herself).  However, if I’m not careful, it actually could nullify Project #1.  But I’m optimistic.  There are a few pieces I am looking for, so if I can discipline myself to just focus on what I need, I think it will be time and money well spent.
Project #4: Menu Planning and Cooking: I’m a terrible cook, hand’s down. I try, but if a recipe can be messed up, I’ll be sure to find the way. Regardless, I’m determined to give it a college try. I’ve already made a few desserts from Pinterest. I know, not ‘real’ food –  but the ball is rolling, and I feel less guilty about the time I waste on Pinterest if at least a dessert can come out of it.  I’ve got a few good apps to help me organize my recipes and form a menu (Pepperplate is one of my favorites right now for gathering recipes and making a menu.  Ziplist is another great one to gather recipes as is Pinterest).  The school year is too crazy to spend energy learning all this, so if I am going to get a handle on this, it’s gotta happen this summer.
Project #5: Landscaping: My green thumb is about as good as my cooking thumb.  My friend Karen LOVES gardening and landscaping and planting flowers.  Me? Not so much. I don’t enjoy it, and I’m not good at it. I am all about the perennials.  Our front yard is pretty shady, so I’ve had some trouble trying to find flowers that are shade-friendly. Again, my goal is to get them planted this summer so next summer, they will take care of themselves.
Project #6: Blogging: Again, I’ve tried this so many times that it is embarrassing.  But today is proof that I’m not giving up.  I’m going to keep writing on this blog, although my master-blogger sister has been helping me come up with ways to really nail this down.  I’m back and forth between a few names, ideas, etc.,but I don’t want to wait until it is solidified. I am going to write anyway and deal with the  secondary stuff…secondarily.
Those are my big projects – too ambitious???  Probably, but go hard or go home, right? I have a few other smaller items on my to-do list…hanging out my nieces, working on some school projects, getting in a good work-out schedule, getting a handle on clean-eating, catching up with some friends, exploring some cool features of L.I. that I pretty much ignore through the year.   How am I going to get all this done, you ask?  I’m not sure. I know that being organized and planning have to come into play, but who want to plan out their whole summer? Well…me.
So, we’ll see how it goes.  But at least for today – Project # 6: check.

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