Our computer crashed about two weeks ago and I was without Internet the whole time.  *gasp!*  Yes, it’s true – and I survived!  I did feel somewhat disconnected since I rely mostly on e-mail for communication, and there are some blogs I frequent, but for the most part it was a refreshing change.

In fact, I find it refreshing whenever I go without some of the technologies we take for granted and rely so heavily upon these days.  Aside from the initial withdrawal, it’s so much more relaxing when I’m not getting sucked into the mindless vortex that eats away at my time and energy, stealing my focus away from more important matters.

Trying to keep a balance between activity and rest, going out and staying in, can be difficult – especially when the weather is nice and you feel the need to get outdoors, just go somewhere.  We have our usual errands – grocery shopping and library run – and I often incorporate a stop at the playground and a picnic, if I’ve been able to plan ahead and pack supplies.  The kiddos and I have been going to the zoo every chance we get, making good use of our family membership.  We met up with Auntie Nikki and Elijah last time, which was a nice treat.  Nikki should be having her baby this month, and I’m always thinking this may be the last time I see her before she has her baby!  I can’t wait to meet him/her (she has a feeling it’s a girl this time around, and I’m hoping she’ll get to use all of Gwen’s baby clothes).   

I was so disappointed that I had to return Simplicity Parenting.  I had renewed it, but there was a request on it so I couldn’t renew it a second time.  If I can find my notes on the last chapter I read I may be able to drum up some thoughts when the book club discusses the fifth chapter.

Since I had returned the book and didn’t have another waiting to be read, I was excited when I found Dead Reckoning, the latest novel in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris.  My brother had initially given me the first two or three books in the series when they came out, and I’ve kept up with each release.  I like the earlier books in the series best, although there are some interesting twists and turns the more you read.  I was intrigued when I heard about True Blood, the TV show based on the series, but after watching two of the seasons on DVD I was disappointed at the liberties they’ve taken with the storyline (or maybe it’s been too long since I read them).  Without the computer to occupy my time, I finished the book in a few days.

We used to frequent the local Christian bookstore growing up, and my mom always let me pick out one or two books, knowing how much I loved to read.  One of my all-time favorite series is Mark of the Lion, by Francine Rivers.  I’ve read it a number of times already, but started reading the first book again and always enjoy the read.  My sister-in-law has been reading the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling, raving how much better they are than the films, so I’m thinking I may cave and start reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – though I have my reservations about it feeling like a children’s story. 

The garden is growing by leaps and bounds!  I’ve started harvesting spinach and salad greens, and having fresh fixins with dinner makes me feel so warm and fuzzy and healthy inside!  I can’t wait till the other veggies are ripe and ready. 

It has been warm and humid lately, and one day in desperation I broke out a big tupperware bin and filled it with water for the kiddos.  It was  a huge hit!  We have a kiddy pool, but I didn’t feel like blowing it up just then. 

One of my favorite things to do on a hot day when I was a kid was to run through a sprinkler – but ours broke last year. :(  I asked Phil if we could turn one of his blue tarps into a slip ‘n’ slide, but he said the texture was too rough.  My sister-in-law assures me that all I need to do is add some dish soap to make it slippery, so I may just try it one of these days.  Anything to get the kids out of the house and cool off on a hot day!   

When the kids are especially well-behaved, I like to reward them with some sort of treat – a living room picnic and a movie, dessert, staying up a bit later than usual to read more stories, whatever.  Well, Summer is the perfect time for just such a treat. 

What is it about the seasons that make you crave their offerings?  In Autumn I long for apple cider, apple crisp, and pumpkin lattes.  In Winter it’s hot chocolate and all manner of warm comfort foods.  In Summer I want smoothies, salad, fresh fruit, Del’s, and ice cream.  Since we’re avoiding refined foods this is definitely an occasional treat; a pity that the ice cream shop is just down the road. *sigh*

Memorial Day saw me and the kiddos visiting my grandparents’ grave with my parents.  My mom – big on genealogy – plants flowers at many of the family graves at cemeteries throughout the state.  After we planted flowers, we wandered through the cemetery, looking at the beautiful inscriptions and admiring the decorations.  It was somewhat surreal, watching Gwendolyn and Josiah tread happily over the ground that holds so many loved ones that have passed away. 

We have once again been reacquainted with Internet, and I’m trying to recover all my “favorites” files that were lost – all those links for recipes, articles, stores, ideas, arrrrgh!  I can’t believe June is upon us already, Father’s Day and 4th of July fast approaching.

Do you have any Summer plans?  How do you make the most of your downtime?  

One thought on “Downtime

  1. Harry Potter *is* a children’s story, but as Harry grows up, the style of writing, plot, themes, etc. get more complicated. It’s like the Anne of Green Gables series in that way. I started to really enjoy HP around book 3.

    Let me know if you want to borrow the series. I also have Twilight if you’re interested in that popular vampire series.

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