May I Debrief?

Pretty punny, aren’t I? (Did you get it? MAY…yeah)  Well, another month has slid by. It started quite cool here and for the ending has begun to heat up. The pool water is warm and the air conditioning is working, so we’re set for June. But first, it’s time for a debrief of the month that was.


1. The Garden: It’s all looking just great, I’m pleased to say. I backed off on watering because of the drought and so far things are handling it okay. We’ll see what happens in another month, once it heats up and I back off even more because water is about to get really expensive. Today I brought home some used coffee grounds from the cafe . I’ve heard that their acidity will make the hydrangeas turn pinker, so I’m going to give it a try. Those are some water greedy plants, I’ll tell you. You probably already know that, duh, hydra- is part of their name and it means water in some old language. Right? It does, doesn’t it? (JFGI Lynn) Okay, I just Googled it. Hydra was a Greek water monster. I suppose that fits hydrangeas if beauty is involved with that monster. Anyway, I don’t know what I expect to happen to the flowers since they are already pink, but maybe the coffee will cement the deal, in case they were trying to decide what color to be. I’m going to mix the coffee with potting soil and use it as a side dressing for the plants. Let’s do an experiment. Here is how they look now:

I’ll dress them with coffee for the month of June and I’ll take a comparison picture at the end of the month. We’ll see what happens. If anything does.

2. School: In five days school will be out for the summer. Or until early August which is still summer, but whatever. You know what I mean. It’s break time. We have five days of revelry left. On Friday we began making paper rockets, which we’ll set off on the last day of school. My daughter, Avery and I made a rocket launcher at a Makers Day a couple of summers ago. It’s cool. You pump it up with a bike pump, and then get out of the way and press a button and whammy!!! They shoot up really high, as long as all goes well. As in they are taped well and not too tight. You use a piece of pvc pipe to make them and you have to make sure they are just loose enough.For my students this meant testing them a lot. Sliding the paper on and off and on and off the pipe. Yeah, you get the visual, I’m sure. Eighth graders.  I’ll be sure to include some photos of the big launching event on Friday. It’s sure to be dynamic.

This week is sure to fly by. The eighth graders promote on Wednesday evening, and they go to the water park on Thursday, and Friday we have short classes and a field day, so I suspect I’ll have time to clean up my room and ready it for summer cleaning.

3. Whole 30, Exercise, all that: I just wrote about the Whole 30 the other day, but here I go again with an update. I think my asthma is going away. I have barely been using my Albuterol inhaler at all, and I seem to be coughing loosely lately. As in, it seems like my lungs are letting go of their congestion. If this proves to be true, WOW!!!  It had been getting pretty bad lately, so I have hopes for this. The other stuff they say, more energy, less bloating is also true this week. I won’t know about weight until the end of the 30 days, but that’s not my biggest concern. It’s maybe second but I’m not doing this for that reason. Reintroducing foods will have to be done very slowly so I can see what, if anything, impacts how I feel. This looks like a whole summer rather than just 30, but that’s okay. It’s not really a burden to do. I just have to plan, and not build my plans for fun around what I consume. What a novelty!

As for the gym, I’m finally getting my strength back. It was a long haul after only four or five days of illness. Between the being sick and the taking Prednisone to knock it out, I lost ground there for a while. It feels good to be back at the gym doing what I could do before and adding new things. On Thursday I did some back squats for the first time. They might not ever be my favorite thing, but it was cool to do a new movement. It you’ve known me for long, you’re probably cracking up to hear me talk about enjoying a new kind of weight lifting. So out of character!! I’ve been asked to write a testimonial for my gym, and I’m turning it into a blog post, so stay tuned for that.

4. Books: In 2008 I did my first NaNoWriMo writing effort. (In case you don’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month, in which thousands of people all around the world write a novel in 30 days. This is 1667 words per day, every day.) I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going with it. I just hd the kernal of an idea and I went with it. I had no idea who would show up or what they’d want or do. I just wrote, each day watching the story unfold on my screen. Since then I’ve written bits and pieces of it, with long breaks in between. Last weekend I decided to print it and read the whole thing, so I could get an idea of where I am with it, just in case I want to try to finish it this summer. Imagine my surprise then it came out to be 140 pages long, much of it single spaced! It is rife with inconsistencies, and that’s okay. It’s what revision is for. It’s interesting to read it and realize how a writer draws on personal experience to shape a work. I’m liking it, actually. Maybe I’ll see if I can bring it to a close this summer. Those characters definitely have something to say. I just need to see what it is.

I am reading Grant Faulkner’s book, Fissures. This is a book of 100 stories, each exactly 100 words long. When I first got it, I thought “No wonder they didn’t accept my 100-word story. I’m not smart enough to write one of these. I’m not smart enough to even understand one that someone else writes!” Grant is the master of this genre, truly. (He is also th Director of NaNoWriMo, but tat’s not part of this story) Yesterday I decided to pick it up again, and wow. It is interesting how much of the story exists beyond the words used to tell it. This genre is complex because it requires the reader to fill in so much. I am enjoying it a lot, and will undoubtedly read it over and over. I recommend it. Be ready to work for it a little. I hope you enjoy it.

5. Fun: Last night my friend Vickie threw a party to celebrate the impending wedding of her son, Andy. Her whole family was there, along with his fiancee’s parents and about 100 of their closest friends. My family and I were lucky enough to be invited. Vickie is known for doing fun and funny things at her parties. Never does she just have a lot of good food (which she did have) or cool decorations (ditto – all made by my daughter Avery). That would all be plenty, thank you. But Vickie is special in that she plans games for her parties. Or entertainment. Homemade entertainment. Last night after all the groomsmen made toasts to the couple, the talk turned to her son’s love of Tupac. Those who had known him during his Tupac days all laughed about it. This led to the highlight of the evening, in which Vickie’s granddaughter, Macy (who is about 9 or 10) got up on the stage with the microphone and began a call and response with the crowd. “I say BOOM!!” (response) “I way Boom Chicka Boom!!” (response)…and so on for about five minutes. At which time Vickie’s husband Tom came running onstage dressed as Tupac and the two of them, Tom and Macy, did a little performance. It was hilarious. Such a fun family, such a fun time. Here’s the backdrop Avery made:

Okay, I’ve taken too much of your time so I’ll go.We’re off to take down the party decorations. All in all it’s been a good month. Here’s to a delicious June! If you have any enviable ideas for fun and relaxation or cleaning the garage, please pass them on. Those things are all on the slate for June at my house!


8 thoughts on “May I Debrief?

  1. Patty Kaiser says:

    Your hydrangeas look amazing! I use coffee grounds in the compost bin all the time – they’re great for most plants. I hope you have an amazing summer, Lynn!! If you get too hot, come to the coast for a break!

  2. lynnjake says:

    Thanks, Patty. The hydrangeas are great this year. I think the cooler weather has been perfect for them. I’m interested in trying the coffee grounds, although I don’t have a compost. I guess I should start one, right? I may certainly take you up on the coast invitation. It’d be so good to see you guys, and to have a walk or two on the beach! We’ll keep in touch on that idea for sure! I hope your trip continues to be fun. I love Ad’s tales about it all! He’s a great writer, and I your addendums are perfect for bringing it all back to earth! I’m so enjoying it. See you! Thanks for the comment!

  3. kd0602 says:

    Your novel sounds exciting! I hope you really do find a way to bring it to completion this summer. And those 100 word stories are already intriguing me…like 4 times a #25 word story? I need to investigate that! And love your play on words…with ten days of school left, I needed you to explain it! But I enjoyed it when I did get it! 🙂


  4. lynnjake says:

    Kim, I hope I can find some end to the novel as well. I like my characters so maybe they’ll let me know what they need! The stories are so sophisticated, so complex yet so simple. Maybe after I read them all I’ll understand a little better how to write one. THanks for reading. I always love your comments!

  5. lynnjake says:

    Lisa, I’m reading it tonight. Did I send you all 140 pages or just the first 30 or so? I ask because I just reread pages 86-92 and they shook me. They aren’t part of the story. Maybe back story, but really just something else. I just wonder if you have read them because there is no chance that anyone else has. I think they are something powerful. To me anyway!

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