Monday, July 2, 2012

Summertime Fun!

Sweetie and I have been getting out more despite the scorching temperatures. We didn't really start doing much until mid-June, but here's the recap of that busy final two weeks!

We attended the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and saw Midsummer Night's Dream. We picked a weeknight, invited a bunch of people, and packed some fancy crackers, cheese, & a cheap (but delicious!) bottle of wine. We really have the best group of friends! The evening was full of conversation and laughter.  We're hoping to go back before it ends in mid-July to see Antony and Cleopatra.

We joined a Meetup group to help Max with his doggie socialization issues. The Pittie Pack is the best group we could have hoped to find. It was formed to create a safe environment for leash-reactive foster dogs to learn how to be around other dogs in a pack environment. They are sympathetic and not judgmental, which is what we love about it. I just want to crawl into a shell when Max lunges at the end of his leash at neighborhood dogs during our evening walks. I feel like our neighbors think he's some sort of vicious dog, when really he's just completely freaked out about other animals. So far, we're having to walk about 20 feet behind the group during the walks and even with that, Max is constantly pulling and/or attempting to lunge. He doesn't bark unless we get too close for his comfort though, which is improvement. I'm optimistic that eventually, we'll be able to walk closer to the pack and socialize with the people. It might be a year or so, but I think he'll get there.

A few people I knew were putting on a production of Pippi Longstockings through The Theatre for Young America. One of them gave out a bunch of free tickets to try and help fill up seats for a particularly slow day and I snatched up five of them. We went with my mom, neice, and nephew. My neice got quite a kick out of it. Her giggling was contagious! My nephew was very interested in the backstage tour that we got to experience, and also thrilled that he got to talk to one of the actors. I later told my friends (pictured above) that the scene where Pippi gets the "official document" stating her dad was presumed dead made Sweetie and I both cry. Like, real streaming tears cry. They were thrilled that they did such a good job, LOL


My mother invited us to a Royals game with some of her coworkers. United Way had given out a bunch of tickets so all we had to pay for was parking. My parents didn't end up being able to come due to a last-minute snafu but insisted we go and have a great time for them. We chatted up the entire game with a friend we hadn't seen in too long and had an overall great time! The Royals won against the Rays but I really dont' think that would have mattered!

Last Wednesday, I was on my way home from work and got a flat tire while on the inner lane of a 3-lane highway. I did make it to the shoulder but ruined the tire doing so. I'd been looking forward to joining our friends at "Supper Club" all month so I got right to work fixing it up. In 100+ (before heat index), khaki pants and flip flops, I set about kicking the lug wrench to loosen the nuts. I found out after removing the flat that the car wasn't jacked up high enough for the spare to go on. And it wasn't going to get any higher either. I have since learned from a few more experienced people that this is common with bottle jacks. Here I was, trying to buy the bottle jack to save me time and effort during my next flat - when all I'd managed to do was delay the process. Luckily, I was about a 10-minute drive from home. I called Sweetie and she drove out to meet me with her scissor jack, which would get the car up high enough to finish the job. While I waited on Sweetie, I climbed up the hillside and found a good shade tree to sit under. I was upset and angry that I was missing Supper Club. I was stressing about how much I'd have to spend to fix the tire the next morning. I was seconds away from letting a hiccup of crying begin when a sort of calm came over me. I thought, "eh, I should just calm down and sit here and enjoy sitting in the shaded grass. I'm fortunate that I didn't lose control or get stuck on the inner lane. I'm fortunate that Sweetie was available to bring me another jack. I'll just sit here and freaking relax."

That lasted about 3 minutes, then the ants started biting. Really tiny, itty bitty, black ants. I had no idea how ferocious the little buggers could be! I started out just flicking them away but quickly realized they were swarming me. They were pinching away at my toes, ankles, lower back and neck. I was determined to continue with my forced relaxation though, so I just moved to another tree. However this time, instead of sitting, I squatted. I wasn't there long enough for my feet to get tired from squatting - maybe 2 minutes or so, when a wasp came and chased me away. Apparently it wasn't my calling to relax just then. When Sweetie showed up, I breathed a long sigh of relief and climbed down the hill to finish getting the spare on and head home.

Thursday, we had friends over for dinner. Sweetie made ribs in the the crockpot, which she then glazed with barbecue sauce and broiled just before we ate. They were freaking delicious! She also had whipped up a pasta salad and some ears of fresh sweet corn. Our friends brought dessert in the form of oreo fluff. All around, a delicious evening. We had a lot of catching up to do with them and talked around the table all evening.

Friday, we had more friends over for dinner. Sweetie grilled steaks, made some french bread, a scalloped potato dish and some steamed broccoli. Our friends came from out of town but insisted on bringing something. We ended up with appetizers, wine, and a key lime pie. More friends showed up later and brought a DQ ice cream cake just in time for me to leave for work. I had a slice shoved into a cup and took it with me - I was NOT going to miss out on a DQ cake!

Saturday, we got up earlier than usual to head out for my sister's wedding. The ceremony wasn't until 2:00 but I was needed during the 11:00 rehearsal since I was in charge of starting & stopping the music. Sweetie dropped me off and headed out to get some sewing toys. The entire day is kind of a cluster of images and flighty events until about 5pm, which is when we headed to St. Joseph for a barbecue and visiting with family who had driven in for the wedding. Once again, just as I'm settling into some good fun and conversation, the clock reminds me it's time to leave for work. I packed up some food for the road and gave hugs all around.

Sunday, we crashed. Sweetie took a 3 hour nap while I watched the entire first season of The IT Crowd on Netflix. I had key lime pie and french bread for lunch. After Sweetie woke up, we decided dinner would be ice cream and popcorn while we watched the original Moulin Rouge. The movie was horrendous, but it was nice to just sit back and do nothing.

We definitely spent more time in real life those last weeks of June! It might have seemed a bit much all at once but I enjoyed every minute of it. July 8th starts our Sunday gathering day and I've got a few messages out to people for other get-togethers. And after this post, I realize I need to take more pictures while I'm out there living it up!

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