End of the Summer—Progress?

It’s time to update everyone on my progress!

I’m not sure how to read this title, though. Should it be “End of the Summer! Progress?” Like two people talking. Or maybe it should be a hesitant sentence… “End of the summer…progress?” I don’t know. Shrug. Here goes.

1. Write something for people to read.

Y’all are reading this! Actually, the last post (about Andrew and that great old cartoon The Storykeepers) got the second-to-most views of any post I’ve written here. Thanks everyone for reading it and sharing it and saying such kind things about it. My mother SAYS she isn’t involved in getting people to read this but…

2. Save a substantial amount of money.

I don’t know…I accidentally put a whole quart of yogurt in the freezer, so I guess that’s cheap ice cream? I haven’t done a lot of laundry, so that’s saving water?

3. Get stains out of the rug.

Haven’t even bothered. In fact, Andrew covered himself in blue marker the other day and left these blue footprints all the way down the tile hallway…I’m scared to even look at the rug. And I made the mistake of buying him a big furry white rug for his bedroom. It was cute watching him try to make snow angels in it, but…

4. Speak Spanish passably well.

Duolingo says I’m doing ok. I read an advertisement the other day without any help, so there’s that.

5. Bake things that start out as dough.

I actually made a delightful blackberry cobbler yesterday! It had a sugary, crunchy crust on top and beautiful purple berries…but it didn’t start out as dough. So nope.

6. Cook a steak.

See “Steak and Incompetence”, the story of how Lawrence cooked a steak and I watched and made comments.

7. Get through a long, boring, classic book so I understand cultural references.

I read a book recently called What She Ate. It’s really good. But I’m the only one who’s read it. Andrew brought me my copy of Anna Karenina today, said “this one?”, and waited for me to read it to him. So I opened it and he sat at my side while I read, “All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” And whether the story was taking too long to get going or he realized that a book without pictures is really a second job, he moved on after that.

8. Sit through a long, famous, classic movie so I understand references and jokes.

I re-watched Out of Africa this summer. That movie is…really not that good.

9. Learn how football works.

I’m sort of embarrassed to even approach this one. Like in that old Homestarrunner cartoon where the Four Gregs went to a football game and said hesitantly “Maybe there will be some…foots? And some…balls?”

Gold Star and ten Grownup Adult Points if you have any clue what I’m talking about here…

10. Learn how finance works. Like, even a LITTLE.

See “blah blah blah Money, I don’t Feel Stupid”.

I do feel a tad stupid. But I’ve learned a little bit about taxes. Specifically, that if you’re broke enough, the government may go easy on you.

11. Expand my food horizons.

Did I mention the cobbler? And the homemade frozen yogurt?

Oh, I did mention them? Those aren’t new foods and it doesn’t count? Let’s move on…you in the back with your hand up…

12. Learn to apply eyeliner.

I did this a bunch of times in Massachusetts and just ended up looking sad.

Here’s another thing…in The Storykeepers, the bad guys (Nihilus and Emperor Nero) have these dark bags under their eyes. I don’t know what that is meant to show…maybe that being evil is tiring?…So I’m starting to wonder if it’s a bad idea to keep wearing eyeliner that I only smudge underneath. Maybe Andrew will begin to associate the undereye smearing with bad guys! Maybe being a good mom to him means NO eyeliner. Just saying.

13. Travel. Internationally. Without freaking out.

It was so hot the other day I wondered what it would be like to live on another planet…does that count? Since Ireland, I haven’t been out of our great nation, but my sister has been to Israel and brought me back a wooden cup that Thomas is trying to convince people is…something else…he said, “that looks like the cup of a carpenter.”

14. Learn how to use a compass. Just in case.

Um…no.

15. Drive on the highway. Without freaking out.

Nope. I rode Scoot down the road…and wished for simpler times, when a thirty-year-old woman could Scoot to the local Family Dollar. Just like in all the old paintings.

16. …really, learn ANYTHING about cars.

I’ve learned I want my father-in-law’s car! It has a camera to show if you’re gonna hit somebody!

But other than that, no.

17. Learn how the U.S. government works.

I’ve learned that it works all the time, because the news is always talking about it.

18. Keep a plant alive. Preferably an edible one.

Hahahaha! (Gasp, laughing like Andrew watching Silly Songs with Larry…)

19. Fix minor problems with clothes (so…sewing, I guess).

I haven’t CREATED any problems with my clothes. And that’s the same as fixing them.

20. Fix ANY broken thing…just fix something.

I broke a jar the other day. Tried to reach past it, and it tumbled out of the shelf, shattering on the floor into all these blue pieces. Couldn’t fix it.

It turns out, some things don’t function in terms of “broken” and “mended”–some things come along and then are gone.

In this season of my life, I think I need to focus less on stuff. The things that are the most important can’t be swept up and thrown out if I ruin them.

As for the things that are valuable monetarily…just try turning them off and then on again. That usually works.

In all seriousness, thanks team. I’ve gotten so much encouragement from y’all through this blog, and I’m so glad to hear I’ve been an encouragement to some of you. You really are a great Blob.

(The Blob= Blog + Mob)

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