I always love a general summertime post, so here it is. I can’t believe it is “summer in review,” though. August always has this vibe of being the end! There is still a lot of summer left, and still a lot to do on the list. It has been an oddly busy yet slow summer - I can’t even explain how the slowness feels fast. I think a big part of the slowdown was bringing Rosie into our family - she makes me be present and thoughtful and appreciative, which is something I didn’t take into account into my expectations for being a puppy owner. It has been a hot and humid summer…as mom says, we live in Jurassic Park now. She’s right, and that’s a whole other source of anxiety I really get worked up about (climate change, environmentalism, etc). I am thinking about doing a post on this soon, because it’s too much and heavy to go into right now. But as I sit here with a sleeping Rosie, I feel reflective. It has been a summer of learning, moving, being patient, staying still, being graceful, and being present. Here are a few dominating themes from the last few weeks:
Gardening has been my goal and challenge this summer…it is so easy to buy, plan, and dream, but the ultimate difficulty is realizing your plan in actuality. I’ve been plagued by giant weeds - once I get them under control in the back yard, then they get outta control in the front! I’ve dug beds myself, mulched, and moved stuff around…it is one giant problem-solving exercise, I think. But seeing your plans thrive, grow, and spread is so rewarding! The plants that have been really happy for me have been: sedum, hydrangea (when properly drained), creeping jenny, speedwell, and my vining black eyed susan. I am only starting my garden, and it has been a TON of work, but I am really excited about how much I’ve learned about what works where, and what doesn’t. The plants that are not-so-happy: echinacea.
I am trying to save up for an Apple Pencil and New iPad! I really think it could come in handy with calligraphy and proofing. It is so intuitive and I am a sucker for the technology, I admit. I want to properly save for it, though! So, I am already starting a little fund, and I have some money down.
This summer has NOT been a summer of pleasure-reads. I’ve listened to two books I’d consider very important. Not life changing, but important and solid. The first is “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times” by Pema Chodron . I’ll be honest, I didn’t love it, but I needed to hear it. I am not necessarily going through a particularly rough or difficult time, but man was it useful and refreshing to hear. It was also a little disconcerting. I think the bit that made me feel that way was the author’s commitment to staring fear squarely in the face; letting go of long-held habits, beliefs, what have you; and trying to practice the immensely difficult “egolessness,” and things like that. It was eye-opening, heart-opening, and soul-opening. The second book, which I am currently reading, is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It is surprisingly refreshing, for being written in 1936. I love that it is time-tested, and still rings true. Both of these books are not guilty-pleasure books, or beach reads, or anything remotely FUN. But I think that they are investments in how I will view relationships and myself.
My new summer discovery is Glossier. I tried some of their new products for the first time and I am really happy with them: the Brow Flick super fine pencil and Bubblewrap, a super hydrating eye (and lip) serum. So far, really liking the quality…the Brow Flick is especially coming in handy for the one eyebrow I seriously over plucked. Oops.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tired as a new pup owner. Even when she sleeps during the day (bless her — she takes loooong naps), I find I have SO much stuff to do, and it’s the only time to do it. We take her out 3-4 times throughout the night, so I haven’t slept full nights in about six days. Oy! It must be sort of what a new parent feels like. She wakes up at 5:45 ON THE DOT, as if she were programmed.
Being a new pup owner means lots of time watching every move of the pup. But when she is napping, thats when I get EVERYTHING done. This must be what a parent of an infant feels like! One thing that is sure to tire her out is what I call “puppy lessons,” when she goes over my parents’ house and the dogs all play together: Scout and Georgia too!
Calligraphy this summer has been going well. The Giving Mirror has made appearances at a few weddings, but I am excited to delve into more complicated signage such as seat charts. I am excited to be working on a really modern custom piece for an upcoming September wedding down the shore. It will be amazing!
Last but not least, I rebooted my Etsy shop after a long hiatus and quite a number of failures there. I don’t think it will be a major source of traffic, but hey, here it is. I am focusing on showcasing and selling less-custom, finished pieces there. For example, these wedding vows are custom, but I will only be selling them one at a time. Go for it and check it out!