BY Pearl

08/01 Direct Link
So many ideas and projects -- so little time. Every summer, when school is almost out, I plan projects. Projects like painting the ceiling, cleaning out the closets, and organizing file cabinets. But do I get to these projects? Not if I can help it. The summer is spent finding ways to get out of the house and avoid the work. Anything not to deal with those projects. Then, the summer is over, the kids go back to school, and I get most of the projects done within the first week of the new school year. This year isn't much different.
08/02 Direct Link
I cannot seem to find a hundred words to write today. Nothing comes to mind. Does anyone else have this problem? A hundred words are not too many. It isn't half a page, three paragraphs, or even an essay. Why am I having such a difficult time with it? Here I am, half way through with only about forty words left to go. Gee, this isn't so hard after all. I knew I could do it if I only sat down and faced the computer screen. It was finding the time to sit and write that was the hardest part.
08/03 Direct Link
Dance moms are a curious lot. They are nothing like cheer moms, with their perfectly coifed hair and impeccable make-up. No, dance moms are more practical. They spend hours making sure their daughters look perfect on stage. Classes must be attended, costumes altered, just the right color lip stick and eye shadow must be found. Not to mention all the hours spent driving to and waiting around the dance studio. Who has time, or money, to spend on themselves when their dancers need new Pointe shoes? But when your dancer says." thank you mom", it just makes your day brighter.
08/04 Direct Link
It’s a rare peaceful Sunday morning. No pressing work to be done. Brandi, my boxer puppy, just ran up to get a hug and give a kiss. She is looking for the kids to play tug rope with. Bono, my huge black cat, is flat on his back, his belly exposed, hoping for a rubbing. U2 is playing in the background as I prepare to bring out my watercolors and paint the morning away. This afternoon, I will prepare a special dinner for the family. This will be our last quiet Sunday for awhile. School and activities will soon intrude.
08/05 Direct Link
Sometimes, you have to let them go. My daughter got her driver's license this summer. It has been hard enough letting her drive herself to dance classes, but at least she is the only one in the car. Today, she wanted to pick up her friend and go back-to-school shopping. I have no problem with the shopping, but the friend part worries me. I worry that she will be distracted and not pay attention. I worry she will get lost driving across town to her friend’s house. I hope I have taught her well enough that she will be okay.
08/06 Direct Link
The sun disappeared behind the rushing blackness. Several mile wide columns of rain were rushing towards the house. My daughter was out there somewhere, across town in that torrent. Newscasters were telling everyone to stay in their houses, not just in their houses, but in the centers of said houses. Headlights slowly filled the driveway. She had managed to avoid all washes, dips, and flooded intersections to make it safely home from her shopping trip. Water, daughter, and shopping bags poured through the door. Towels and a fashion show chased off the remaining rain. It's always sunny in her world.
08/07 Direct Link
Monsoon season is my favorite season of the year. Mornings are cool. The sky, bright blue, is dotted with big fluffy clouds. As the day warms, more clouds appear, still puffy, but growing in number and size. The clouds darken and fill the sky. Suddenly, there is a boom of thunder, a flash of lightening, and the sky falls, drenching everything in just a few minutes. The storm may last minutes or an hour, but is over by early evening. Then the air is clean and cool, perfect for viewing the bright stars as they light up the night sky.
08/08 Direct Link
The garage sale. Just a few months ago, I swore I would never have another one. But of course, here I am preparing for another one. The difference? This one is not at my own home. This one is being held with several other dance moms in an effort to raise money for our dancer's competition fees. I have to get everything together, cleaned up, and then transport it to another location. I'm not sure if this is easier or not. So far, the amount of work seems to be the same, but the fun factor in definitely much higher.
08/09 Direct Link
Just two more cars and you qualify for the fleet rate”, our insurance agent quipped. I had just added our daughter and her car to our insurance. Four drivers and five cars are little too much if you ask me. And not just in a financial sense, either. Playing musical cars every time someone has to leave is getting old. Only three more years till our other son gets his insurance. By then, our oldest should be out on his own, and off our insurance. One thing is for certain though, one of these cars has to go and soon.
08/10 Direct Link
What a successful garage sale. Of course, anytime most of the stuff sells, and none of it comes home, it is a successful garage sale. The house feels lighter, and my daughter has some cash for her dance competition fees. What we didn't sell went to the thrift store. There was talk of making this an annual rummage sale sort of thing, but I can't imagine doing this again for a long, long time, but give me a year to recover. Now it is time to turn our planning to the next fundraising project -- a spaghetti dinner. Wish us luck.
08/11 Direct Link
We desperately need a new couch for the family room. The one we have now has suffered greatly at the hands of four kids, the cat, and our boxer puppy, Brandi. This couch was our first purchase when we moved here and it has served us well, but it is time. My husband and I decided to go look to see if there was anything that we both liked. Ha! What an experience. Time has changed our tastes a great deal and unfortunately, not in the same direction. I can tell already, this is going to be a long search.
08/12 Direct Link
Finally, the crew has come to clean out the pool and prepare it for plastering. This has been the longest summer ever. The pool was started way back in May and was supposed to be done by July 20th. Here it is the middle of August and the pool still is not done. If the schedule continues with one project a week, the crew won't be back until next week. The kids are disappointed that the pool won't be done before school starts, but I jokingly told them I would enjoy it. Thankfully, it stays hot until well into October.
08/13 Direct Link
When my son was in seventh grade, he took a computer class. One of his projects was to make a web page. I saw what he had to do and thought I could learn that easily. As it turned out, I was right. For me, it was another art form. However, I got bored and went looking for another media to learn. I turned to watercolors and found that while I greatly enjoy the painting process, I don't always have time. I spend far more time at the computer. I guess it is time to go back to web design.
08/14 Direct Link
It is back to school time. In fact, the kids go back tomorrow. I have an intense love / hate relationship with this time of year. By now, the kids are bored silly and sick of each other. They don't really want to go back to school, but they can't wait to have something to do with themselves. I'm sick of refereeing their arguments and look forward to time to myself, but I don't really want them to go back. They grow so fast, and I miss them desperately. Time passes quickly, and even more so when they are in school.
08/15 Direct Link
Taking care of a pool is far more complex than I thought. It isn't the chemicals that have me confused, it is the levers on the filter system. Turn this one that way to do this, but not unless this other lever is in the off position. If this needs to be done, turn that other lever to the right all the way. None of the levers should be turned half way at any time. They face out to run the pool system, but in for the spa. My head is spinning as much as the levers at this point.
08/16 Direct Link
I just bought new graphic image software. I've been looking at this set for a long time and haven't wanted to spend the money on. I finally "needed" it bad enough to spend the money. Now that I have it, I don't know why I waited so long. Just looking through the catalog is inspiring to me. I can't wait to sit down to play and see what I come up with. I have so many ideas just waiting for the right spark to set them off. I think I will be busy for quite awhile with my creative endeavors.
08/17 Direct Link
Dance and football. The real fall schedule begins today. So much driving around, dropping off a child here, another one there. Summer gave us an escape from the busyness, but summer is over and I'm back on the road again. I don't mind all the driving. I know someday I won't have to drive anyone around and I will miss it. This is our bonding time. The time they tell me what is going on in their lives, what worries they have, what we can do to make it better. I hope they enjoy this as much as I do.
08/18 Direct Link
I used to write all the time. Some where along the way, I stopped and I don't even know why. I miss writing and that is why I signed up for 100 words. If I can do this for a month, maybe I can get back into writing stories and essays. Here it is, a little over half way through the month, and I'm doing it. My writing my not be great and I may not get the words uploaded every day, but I am writing everyday. This is a good habit to develop and I'm glad to do it.
08/19 Direct Link
Three little toads were swimming around in the pool this morning. The storm last night brought them out of the mud. After fishing them out of the water, I shooed them away so that Brandi wouldn't find them. She has flattened more than a few little toads. I always worry she will get one of the poisonous river toads, but so far, she has only found the little spade foot toads. She has turned out to be quite a little huntress. Birds, toads, lizards, she catches them all. And I am the one that has to clean up after her.
08/20 Direct Link
I have a project I'm supposed to be working on, but I just can't seem to make myself do it. This is one of those projects that looked fun to begin with, but after I committed to it, I realized that there is much more work involved than I want to put into it. Unfortunately, I can't back out of this particular project. Of course, I'm suddenly aware of how much needs to be done around the house. Laundry, dishes, mopping the floor, cleaning the pool, they are all more alluring than this one project I really need to do.
08/21 Direct Link
The one thing I miss most about where we used to live is my garden. I grew both flowers and vegetables in abundance. Because of the heat, the growing season here is in the spring or fall. Life is too just busy during those times of year, so I am at the mercy of grocery stores when it comes to fresh produce. That isn't to say I haven't tried to garden here. All I've managed to harvest is one sad tiny tomato. Oh, the plants were beautiful, they just didn't produce. And as for flowers, can we all say cactus.
08/22 Direct Link
I have this war going on inside me between the logical side of me and the creative side of me. I really want to develop my writing and art into something more than hobbies, but I feel like I'm wasting time when doing either. I feel like I should be doing something more productive, like cleaning house or working in the yard. Writing and art are too much fun, therefore they can't be a practical use of time. I don't believe that, but it is all I hear running through my head everytime I sit down to write or paint.
08/23 Direct Link
Our backyard isn't attractive. I would love it to look like those you see in magazines, but I know it never will. We recently put in a swimming pool and now the rest of the yard looks like the pit it is. When we first moved here, I had all kinds of ideas to make the yard look nice, but lack of time, money, and agreement made the yard my husband's territory. His ideas don't always match mine. It would be nice to be able to invite friends over for dinner and a swim. Maybe my husband will get inspired.
08/24 Direct Link
I'm a silence freak. When my husband and I first started dating, I rarely watched TV or listened to the radio. Most of my free time was spent reading in silence. The silence never bothered me. I enjoyed it. Nowadays, my husband and the kids usually have the TV, the radio, and the computer on. When they are gone however, I still relish the silence. Silence gives me a chance to explore my thoughts, ideas, and creativity. I know it must seem self-centered to people who have a hard time being in silence, but there are those that do understand.
08/25 Direct Link
Cleaning day in the boy's room. Usually, we have a mega clean the day before school starts, but this year, we didn't get around to it. In fact, this year, we didn't do our start of summer mega clean either. Anyway, the boy's room had no floor visible when we started. By the end of the day, not only was there a floor, clothes were cleaned, sorted, and hanging in the closet, drawers were organized, and toys were sorted and reduced. We ended up with two huge trash bags, one full of trash, and the other to go to charity.
08/26 Direct Link
The rocks are here! The rocks are here! And boy, are they dirty. Ten cubic yards on half inch Sonoran Tan and four cubic yards of three to eight inch River rock, all to go around the pool. A lawn is impractical in this area due to the heat and cost of water. That isn't to say our yard is barren. It is filled with Cholla, Prickly Pear, Saguaro, Ironwood, Mesquite and Palo Verde trees, Hackberry and Limber bushes, all natural. In addition, we've planted other native trees and hardy flowering bushes. We live in a very lush desert area.
08/27 Direct Link
I accomplished nothing today. At least nothing I really needed to get done was done. The house is still a mess, the laundry is still piled up, and the website isn't any closer to being finished. Instead, I spent my time running errands and enjoying the glorious sunshine and heat outside. Tomorrow I really must get to the house. I hope I can be stronger and not succumb to the temptation of the outdoors. I am making a promise to myself; I will work extra hard and get everything done so I can enjoy this weekend and not feel guilty.
08/28 Direct Link
The month is almost over. I've almost made it to the end. I know my writing isn't that great and certainly nothing of interest to anyone but myself, but the fact that I've almost finished 31 days of writing 100 words a day is quite an accomplishment. I am proud of myself for sticking with it. I don't know if I will try it again, but most likely, I will. The challenge of daily writing is good for my creative muscles. It gets all the bad writing out of my system. I just feel sorry for anyone who reads this.
08/29 Direct Link
I took a trip to one of my favorite places today -- the bookstore. I could spend hours inside, wandering around picking up books, reading their blurbs, thumbing through, and usually, putting them back on the shelf. The first thing that attracts me to a book is its cover. Does that make me shallow? Probably, but I always take the time to get to know a little about the book before putting it back or not. I would never buy a book just because the cover is attractive. There has to be more to the book than that. Looks aren't everything.
08/30 Direct Link
Fridays are always busy around here. Every other week, my husband has off. On the Fridays he works, I try to get the house cleaned up for the weekend. On the Fridays he has off, we run errands together and go out to breakfast or lunch. It is nice to spend time with him when the kids are all in school. We get to reconnect our lives and interests. It is amazing how much our interests have changed over the years. I don't feel as different as he seems to be, but I must be just as different to him.
08/31 Direct Link
It has been the laziest day. Didn't do much of anything, except drive my daughter to her dance rehearsals and dance classes. I don't know how she has the energy to keep going. I don't remember having that much energy when I was her age, but I must have. My interest was in horses though, not dance. I would spend hours grooming and riding my horse, just as she spends hours perfecting her dance technique. I need to go get her soon, as she is almost done for the day. Then it is my turn to do something -- make dinner.