1. I just went to a very cool website: www.designhergals.com. It's a website that allows women to design stationery, business cards, labels, and that sort of thing with images on them that reflect the woman herself. Kristiana helped me design a card "in my own image." Even if you don't buy anything, it's fun to create a personal icon. Thanks so much for the card, Kim, and thanks for the web address.
2. I played tennis with Daniel this morning, just the two of us. Talking, laughing, chasing errant shots. We played for about 35 minutes then decided to "play a game." He won the first game, and I won the second game. Then we called it quits; I hate going home mad because he beat me, and I dare say that the same is true for him. We had a great time together out on the court. I had a somewhat disturbing thought at one point: he's only nine-years-old now, but within two years, he will be beating me handily out there. Yikes! Perhaps I should sign up for lessons again...
3. Tomorrow is our last day of homeschooling for the year. Another year older, wiser, and closer as a family. They excelled on their achievement testing; interestingly enough, North Carolina homeschoolers are not allowed to take the North Carolina achievement tests. We must choose between Iowa and California's tests. We choose the West Coast Test, and they passed with flying colors. Yeah for them!
4. We've hired some friends (who own a landscaping company) to come and help us make sense of our fiercely overgrown yard. They have discovered snake holes, termites, and weeds that are larger than some of the trees and bushes that the previous owners paid good money to plant in our yard. It's quite sobering to learn how much we don't know about the great outdoors. After only two visits to our little corner of Charlotte, Alexandra and Marlon have opened our eyes to what is possible if we keep the weeds under control, shape the bushes well, and clear away the pine needles so that ground can breathe.
5. I'm getting increasingly excited about next weekend's retreat in New Jersey. Actually, exactly one week from now, I'll be roaming the streets of midtown Manhattan before heading down to NJ Friday afternoon for the weekend. I arrive in the City on Thursday and plan to window shop, duck into a museum or two, and otherwise take full advantage of twenty-four hours of freedom to roam around my old stomping ground. I am hoping to catch up with a friend or two, and will spend the night at a friend's apartment on 57th street between 6th and 7th avenues. Do call if you are free for coffee or tea in NYC. I don't have plans for dinner on Thursday, so...
6. There is a population explosion happening here in South Charlotte: it would appear that rabbits are multiplying in our neighborhood. Earlier this evening, I stood on a friend's driveway talking for about 20 minutes, and we saw between 6 and 10 rabbits hopping to and fro in search of carefully planted flowers and foliage to devour. They are cute little critters who manage to make mincemeat of many a garden.
7. I'm in the process of reading "Tom Sawyer" to the children. What a rascally fellow that Tom was and is. We laugh at him heartily - and I warn them not to try any of those things at home!
8. Maya is truly the cutest dog I've ever lived with - as well as the only dog I've ever lived with. Seriously, she has become quite the cuddly, funny, adventurous little darling. No indoor puddles in quite a while either - for that, we are all grateful. That crazy little dog loves Steve more than I do; when he arrives from work, she is absolutely frantic with joy. She sprints to the door, jumps up and down on her hind legs, and doesn't leave him alone until he picks her up and holds her close to his heart. Even as I type this statement, he called up to me, "Gail, where's Maya?" In the words of a friend from CT, "If she were another woman, I'd be seriously worried."
9. There's nothing like a glass of wine on a Thursday evening to ease me into my weekend.
10. Speaking of the weekend, tomorrow night at 7 PM, there will be a service to celebrate the life of little Christopher Sanders, the six-year-old boy who passed away back at the beginning of April. Sorrow, tears, stories, laughter, slides, music - and remembrances of a life cut short. My thoughts and prayers remain with Laurie.
11. On Saturday morning, my dear friend Alejandra and I will have breakfast together, just the two of us. I can't wait to tell her stories about my trip to her beloved Costa Rica and share a couple of hours of "pura vida" together. I've gotta remember to take my pictures...
12. Earlier this evening, I had an excellent conversation with Jim, my friend and therapist. That man sure knows how to ask the tough questions, but he also knows how to motivate me, encourage me, and push me to dig deeper where needed, let myself off the hook as needed, and allow myself to enjoy my life. I don't have to take everything so seriously. I can give myself permission to be happy, to rejoice, and to revel in the many blessings I have been given. To that end...
13. I've got a secret plan for Sunday. My kids have no idea what frolicking, laughing, and raucous family time we will share, but, boy, oh boy, will it be fun. I figured that since I was out of town last weekend, and I will be out of town again next weekend, the least I could do was make a special plan for the four of us this weekend. It's killing them that they don't know what lies ahead, and it's thrilling me that I get to make a plan, keep it a secret, and watch them fawn in the fun. Yeah for all of us!
This has been a very good Thursday.
How about yours?