a few months ago, I felt like I needed to write a back to school-esque essay about what I did over the summer. a lot has changed this year, and I never would have guessed that this is what my summer would have looked like.
my last “normal” day was Monday, March 16th. it wasn’t really normal though, because the St. Patrick’s Day parade that was supposed to take place that weekend was cancelled and we all knew that things were changing rapidly and soon the state of Wisconsin would be on safer at home orders. the day before, I told our coordinator at church that it would be our last children’s liturgy for a while. I don’t think I even stayed for the whole Mass.
I got up on Monday morning like usual to get to my tumbling class at the Y. I left a few minutes early to go out of my way to drop off all of the library books that I had at home. I talked to some of the parents and grandparents after class, with none of us knowing when we would be back together.
my manager at the hotel told me that I should make sure to go grocery shopping that day, so I headed off to Pick N Save. the thing that really stood out to me was that there were no bananas left. I’m not necessarily a hoarder, but I also like to get a back up of things as I’m getting low, so I wasn’t one of those people scrambling to buy toilet paper, and I am grateful for that.
I wandered down the frozen food aisles trying to figure out what to buy since we were supposed to be stocking up for fourteen days. I doubt I had a list, and I had my headphones in. I ran into the woman I usually teach children’s liturgy with - I don’t think I had seen her in a week or two - and we briefly chatted about how weird everything was. she had already been to Wal-Mart that day looking for laundry detergent, and she said that they had bananas.
so it was off to my least favorite store, where I bought bananas, eggs that weren’t super expensive like the only ones left at the grocery store, and hot cocoa mix. I headed back home for lunch while watching story time on Instagram Live with my favorite children’s author and illustrator, Oliver Jeffers. he kept doing these for a stretch of weeks and they made my days brighter.
that afternoon was my last normal shift at the hotel. I’m not sure what I did, but I’m sure it included laundry and laughing with pat in the diner while I made coffee. melanie (and Toad) and I sat in the lobby for a while that evening and talked before I left.
I returned home to find a package from Grove. I had ordered some cleaning supplies and peppermint essential oil, and as I put things away, I realized that the last box in the box was too large to contain the peppermint oil. I opened it up and laughed to discover toilet paper instead.
I have been listening to Stephen Fry’s narration of the Harry Potter series overnight since that evening.
the next couple weeks involved a lot of staying home, finally caving and getting Netflix to go with my Hulu (I watched The Office for the first time!), and visiting cemeteries. I did a few projects at home, like cleaning out the lint trap in my dryer, hanging a giant print on my bedroom wall, and some weeding. I drank many smoothies with the NutriBullet that I bought myself five years ago, tackled a few sewing (mending) projects, and sent out some mail. it was my first spring in my house, and I enjoyed watching the flowers bloom. I found a few tomato knives stuck in the garden, which is a different story. there were a couple grocery trips to Green Bay in April that I was scolded for, but we all make choices in life. I spent many hours at home reading, listening to podcasts, and coloring. I also finally took the time to put together a couple photo books that I’ve been putting off - one for months and the other for a year.
in early May, my grandpa called me up to enlist me to do some wood staining for their new house. this evolved into varnishing, vacuuming, helping lay floating floors in about half of the house (they did the rest without me), and other odd jobs. that was a big learning experience.
I took Maggie on many walks and watched her at my house some evenings, and I played a small part in pulling off a virtual songwriting festival in June. I did some baking too, which included using the rhubarb from my garden. there were also some desserts from my grandma.
the motel was closed for three months. I came back to help out a little bit with some evening cleaning and laundry a few times, but occupancy is being kept at about 30%, so there aren’t enough hours for me yet. and so, as the end of July came nearer with the end of the extra funds for people on unemployment, I had to figure out where I was going to be working.
July also brought with it a few hikes with my best friend and helping my dad move some cars around for his business. I also knew that I would be covering a few days of Y camp for someone who was on paternity leave.
as it does, everything happens at the same time. I started working at my stepmom’s coffeehouse at the end of July, and a couple days later, the baby was born so I was at the Y in the mornings instead, and I also covered a few hours at the hotel, did some filing for my aunt, and helped finish up a few things for my grandpa.
a birthday somehow slipped in there too, along with a little family time, and August wrapped up with a surprise visit from a friend I hadn’t seen in years.
the past six months have been such an odd time, with lots of hard moments, but there were some really beautiful moments that I never saw coming either. things will probably never return to the way they had been before, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t great things ahead.
197/366 :: Wednesday 15 July 2020
Maggie, counting raindrops.
198/366 :: Thursday 16 July 2020
if you cut back your dreaded tree to heaven weeds, you might find some more lilies.
199/366 :: Friday 17 July 2020
open skies in one of my favorite hiking spots.
200/366 :: Saturday 18 July 2020
I love writing mail and using stickers.
201/366 :: Sunday 19 July 2020
always so many things on my desk.
202/366 :: Monday 20 July 2020
purple carrots are actually the best.
203/366 :: Tuesday 21 July 2020
receiving mail is pretty fun too. (:
190/366 :: Tuesday 8 July 2020
cemetery wanderings on the way home from a neurologist appointment.
191/366 :: Wednesday 9 July 2020
it was a little windy and I didn't have the windows closed so this mirror fell off the ledge and down the stairs, narrowly missing me as I ran up them in the middle of the night to close the windows because it was raining.
192/366 :: Thursday 10 July 2020
193/366 :: Friday 11 July 2020
another day, another cemetery. this one is a favorite of mine to visit in October when the leaves aren't green.
194/366 :: Saturday 12 July 2020
George always makes me smile.
195/366 :: Sunday 13 July 2020
these stickers in my Pipsticks reminded me of my home away from home.
196/366 :: Monday 14 July 2020
my favorite Door County Land Trust property.
183/366 :: Wednesday 1 July 2020
I miss places.
184/366 :: Thursday 2 July 2020
I made so many smoothies when I was home every evening. Kroger sells a great blend of frozen strawberries, mango, peach slices, and pineapple. it's the best.
185/366 :: Friday 3 July 2020
my aunt's flowers are really pretty.
186/366 :: Saturday 4 July 2020
birthday bridge. and I love being stuck on the bridge when I have my camera with me.
187/366 :: Sunday 5 July 2020
this made me laugh when I was at my cousin's house checking on their cat.
188/366 :: Monday 6 July 2020
I don't even remember what the premise was of taking this photo, but my car is pretty cute.
189/366 :: Tuesday 7 July 2020
I finally read The Elegance of the Hedgehog after two previous tries years ago, and this is also my favorite easy meal.
176/366 :: Wednesday 24 June 2020
I noticed this morning that my niffler's foot fell off! I haven't searched the bottom of my purse yet, but it might actually be at a cemetery somewhere. anyway, it made me sad because I've had him on my keys for almost four years now. but I still have two full-size Funko Pop nifflers on my bookshelf.
177/366 :: Thursday 25 June 2020
you may remember that I tried to buy peppermint oil from Grove in March and then they forgot to send it to me (they gave me a credit for the cost). so I still needed to buy some because I use it when I have a migraine and can't be bothered to take my medication (even though I really should). I found this at Target and was so pleasantly surprised that they had it!
178/366 :: Friday 26 June 2020
I miss going to Goodwill and Half Price Books and adding more used books to my shelves. so I finally bought a few books online from HPB. Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Let It Snow were both first time reads for me (after watching Let It Snow on Netflix). I already had The Elegance of the Hedgehog, but I never made it through the whole book. I had tried it twice before and just got stuck, but third time's the charm and I am almost finished with it! I might reread A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares next. (or finally finish All You Need to Know About the Music Business.)
179/366 :: Saturday 27 June 2020
a new lake view for me.
180/366 :: Sunday 28 June 2020
almost fully opened.
181/366 :: Monday 29 June 2020
this is a salad when you don't have a lot of fresh produce. there were some really tiny cute baby spinach leaves in there.
182/366 :: Tuesday 30 June 2020
169/366 :: Wednesday 17 June 2020
hanging out with Maggie again. she was a bit confused, but we went on a couple walks in the sunshine!
170/366 :: Thursday 18 June 2020
I love fun packaging on Etsy orders.
171/366 :: Friday 19 June 2020
I love these beautiful peonies in my yard.
172/366 :: Saturday 20 June 2020
already the first day of summer. I love this photo, which I found at an antique store a few years ago. it hung on the wall in the entryway of my former apartment, but now it's on the fridge (most of the time). I will say that I am already ready for the temperature to be about ten degrees cooler.
173/366 :: Sunday 21 June 2020
day two out of three of making a batch a day of rhubarb muffins. I was trying to perfect a recipe that I found online since it was kind of bland the first time (but still good). I also didn't cut the rhubarb small enough on the first day. the second day I added some cinnamon, and then the third batch had ginger added as well.
174/366 :: Monday 22 June 2020
my Grandpa found these while we were tearing out the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen this morning. they're from 1985, and naturally, I kept them. the pie crust coupon doesn't even have an expiration date on it.
175/366 :: Tuesday 23 June 2020
this Georgia Hardstark quote is now hanging in my kitchen in between two doors that I go through the most. I'm trying to be better about following this advice.
162/366 :: Wednesday 10 June 2020
look who came to visit!
163/366 :: Thursday 11 June 2020
the peonies have now started popping at my house! they're so pretty.
164/366 :: Friday 12 June 2020
I made rhubarb cake a few nights before and made sure to share it with some people. the rhubarb plant in my yard just keeps growing and growing.
165/366 :: Saturday 13 June 2020
I do love waiting for the bridge (as long as I'm not running late for something).
166/366 :: Sunday 14 June 2020
someone else's cactus. (: isn't it cute?
167/366 :: Monday 15 June 2020
I had to trim a few leaves (? what do you call them on an aloe plant?), but there's a new baby one growing now too.
168/366 :: Tuesday 16 June 2020
my favorite easy lunch: brown rice and roasted sweet potatoes.
155/366 :: Wednesday 3 June 2020
this is my favorite Mrs. Meyer's scent, and I always try to grab a few when I see them, but I am almost out of this bottle and I wasn't able to get any this past winter.
156/366 :: Thursday 4 June 2020
if you give them rhubarb, they will give you "rhuberry strawbarb" pie. (:
157/366 :: Friday 5 June 2020
there are a few fancy doorknobs at my house, but the one to my bedroom is my favorite.
158/366 :: Saturday 6 June 2020
more backyard poppies.
159/366 :: Sunday 7 June 2020
I think these are irises. there were only a few of them in my yard.
160/366 :: Monday 8 June 2020
more flowers around my yard, this time in the front.
161/366 :: Tuesday 9 June 2020
I love this water bottle so much.
148/366 :: Wednesday 27 May 2020
I think it was about to rain.
149/366 :: Thursday 28 May 2020
it's still doing well (unlike the succulents).
150/366 :: Friday 29 May 2020
I was reminded of my former kitchens where I also opened these boxes.
151/366 :: Saturday 30 May 2020
the first poppy.
152/366 :: Sunday 31 May 2020
they smell like the lilacs that we picked for the eighth grade graduation when I was in seventh grade.
153/366 :: Monday 1 June 2020
the night before, I knew I was going to be on a video call and I didn't know if one of the (many) people on the call would be offended by the shirt that I was wearing, so I wore an old hoodie from high school instead. (that person wasn't on the call anyway.)
154/366 :: Tuesday 2 June 2020
it's still growing and growing and trying to have a baby spider plant. then I remembered that I had put plant food spikes in it a couple months back.
a photographer with the desire to hide behind the camera a little less and let the light shine through.