A new family moved into the empty house down the street- the husband happens to be the brother of Wonder Daddy's good friend, and we'll be going to the same church on Sunday. How's THAT for cool? Plus, they have a little boy (4) who has fallen in love with our Mimi (also 4) and insists on giving the girls hugs when they leave. As soon as enough morning has passed, the girls are begging to go and play in the "cul-de-square" (because it's just the end of a street, NOT a big round cul-de-sac.) There are a few other kids on our street, but playing with them never works out. An older girl lives just across from us, but we only see her outside once or twice a year. There are some little boys, but they're too young to come out and play by themselves. There were some great kids at the far end of the street, but they moved away. So now Caleb is here, and the girls are ecstatic!
Last week, we found a tiny clearing by a stream running through the woods at the end of our street. It's really just about 30 feet away from the concrete, but seems like a different world! I send the girls out with their walkie-talkie and they play for hours, setting up house down there. (Ernie read The Boxcar Children one morning last week- I think it influenced her!) Unfortunately, we found out last night that sometimes homeless men sleep at the park on the other edge of the woods. It's a ways away, with thick brush and brambles and no path in between, but still...makes me pause about sending them down there alone! Sad, because it's such an amazing spot. They have instructions to come home immediately if they ever hear or see another adult out there.
I was on such a roll, getting ready for our recent visitors, that it left me itchy to get all those other projects that have been put off around the house. We've lived here 5 years, and I've been either pregnant or caring for a baby/toddler for all those years. Now that the girls can play by themselves, and Cocoa is still taking naps (and can also play for a while if the mood strikes him) I want EVERYTHING done. NOW. If you could see my search history, you'd laugh. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon googling how to take apart a sink faucet and replace the cartridge inside- our faucet's been leaking for years so I ordered replacement parts last week. I was just barely strong enough to take apart what I did, but when I came across a huge metal nut that wouldn't fit in my monkey wrench, and the channel-locks and the needlenose pliers couldn't grip, I had to put it all back together and get the house water turned back on before my parents came to babysit. NOBODY wants to babysit in a house with no water, haha.
Today I started teaching myself to "belt." It's a kind of singing that's like yelling...but nicely. I'm not very good at it yet, but I recorded a song for practice this morning that sounded almost decent. I like the beginning, but around 1:50...see, that's where I started doing new things. And new things don't don't always sound as comfortable as old things. I'm going to re-record and see if I can get anything worth keeping around as more than an "oh that was an interesting exercise!"
The garden is looking decent this year. Wonder Daddy reminded me that every year it gets a bit better, but it still bugs me that it's not exactly what I want it to be. I have four garden beds out front- one bed is lush and full and dark green. The three others (with the same plants, water, light, fertilizer, and timing) are anemic and yellow. Pity.
We've reached the Perfect Weather season for Seattle- 70's and 80's in the daytime, cooling to the 50's and 60's at night. Blue skies, lots of green trees and lakes, and a slight breeze. We're a Mediterranean climate (drought in the summer), so weeds have slowed down. Evenings last till about 9:30, and sitting on the porch chatting and watching kids play is one of the finest events of the year. Every summer the kids get so mellow, and the house is so darn peaceful, I always want to grab onto this and make it last as long as we can. Is there a way to make this keep going until, say, Christmas?