Casual Friday + Love of the Week

  • We got to the lake one last time. We went swimming and fished and took conference calls from rooms overlooking the water. We played UNO and Sorry. We had breakfast on the beach (toasting hearty slices of Cinnamon Raisin bread over the bonfire) and roasted marshmallows for our daily s’more fix. We lit sparklers in the dark. We skipped rocks until my shoulder ached. We caught toads (37 one evening to be exact).
All the little toads were released in short order – all 37 of them.
  • We also narrowly missed a nasty run-in with poison ivy. On our final day at the lake my Dad boated us out to a family-favourite island. It’s the best place to get skipping rocks and I’ve been going here every summer for over 3 decades. This time my Dad and I sat near the water while the kids explored inland a bit. This is a tiny island so they were only 30 feet away from us the whole time. They rarely play well together for an extended period, but this day they didn’t make a peep (they were creating booby traps in the sand, turns out) so I just let them be. When it was time to head home for lunch we wandered over their play spot. My Dad, in a very casual and off-hand way said: “I sure hope that’s not poison ivy.” Surrounding their sandy play spot was densely packed foliage – clearly all belonging to the same species. I immediately scoffed at his comment. I’ve never had an issue with poison ivy in my life, despite growing up near heavily wooded areas. Plus, poison ivy has leaves of three, I said. My Dad quickly pointed out there were indeed 3 leaves. Hmm. He was right. It’s much lower to the ground I insisted. It’s pretty low to the ground, Elisabeth. Thanks to the wonders of technology I did a quick Google search right before we left the island which started some mild panic. Then I downloaded an plant recognition app and about 2 seconds later I had a positive plant ID: Western poison ivy. I immediately had the kids jump in the lake and as soon as we got home they had a long shower in lukewarm water, scrubbing down with lots of dishsoap (per Dr. Google’s suggestion). All the clothes and towels were changed out and washed. And then/now I just crossed my fingers. Apparently it CAN take up to 3 weeks for symptoms to show up, but I’m thinking we narrowly dodged a bullet?
Leaves of three + characteristic longer stem on the middle leaf.
  • School starts in less than a week! At first I was excited and now it’s starting to feel a bit daunting? How are we going to manage getting the kids up and out the door on time. After a summer of flexible scheduling for morning wakeups – phew. It’s going to be rough. But also so, so worth it.
  • I know I’ve been circling back to the no-exercise thing, but it really has felt huge. Over the last few summers even our time at the lake has been punctuated by regular exercise. I needed something predictable for September, so I’ve made a goal to run every day. No minimum distance, no quota on treadmill vs. outdoors – just run everyday. So far so good (3/3)!
  • Also, my eating habits have been totally derailed lately. It feels good to be back home and settling in to routines. I had eggs for supper last night and no dessert. I like eating this way, but summer just has a way of slowly eroding good eating habits (when travelling at least). It was less about the food on offer (desserts, carbs) and more about my portion control (sure I’ll have seconds) and snacking. I have a pair of jeans that have always been just a little on the loose side. My comfy jeans. They are no longer loose. Oh well. Commit, Reset, Recommit. I’m recommitting!

Love of the week: My favourite little guy

Weeks ago my daughter happened to notice that John made it in as my love of the week. She was quite aghast she hadn’t yet been highlighted (I pointed out that Father’s Day seemed a natural time to celebrate a father). Her turn is coming, I promise. But this time my Love of the Week is this adorable little fella.

Levi can be so jolly. He loves to laugh and giggle. He loves to play practical jokes. He loves to play games. He loves to be outside and to get dirty. He loves to explore and bang and smash and build things. (He also loves to drive me crazy. But I can’t stay frustrated for too long – he’s just so cute, especially with his extremely bleached-by-the-sun summer hair.)

He really came into his own this summer at the lake: running and splashing off the raft (last year he was too timid); casting his own line and landing more fish than everyone else put together; skipping stones as far as the adults.

On our last night there the lake was calm, the sky was beautiful and as we stood fishing at the marina for the last time in 2021 he turned to me and said: “This is so great, Mama.” It really was.

Throwback to 2019! I’ve got to get better about getting in photos with the kids…(photo credit – Joy B).

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