Last week, I enjoyed mornings on my own in a quiet house. It couldn't last. The big kids were at overnight camp and the little kids were at a dance camp, and I knew it would be the only week in July that would provide me with that kind of alone time. I enjoyed having time to blog regularly and to think and plan out loud.

Alone time is a luxury to which I've grown accustomed, thanks to the coming-together of a variety of factors: kids in full-time school and part-time nursery school; babysitting; grant money.

Some of which evaporate during the summer months.

So, I could tear my hair out with frustration (and I may), or I could embrace the off-time as best as possible, and go with the flow. I'm trying to do the latter. It is Tuesday of the first week that I'm trying to do this. Let's say it's going well, but I haven't really been tested.

Yesterday, with three out of four children around all day (AppleApple is going to a horse day-camp this week), we ran some fairly leisurely errands: library, grocery store, dr's appointment. CJ rode his balance bike around town; Fooey begged to ride in the stroller (mostly, I made her walk); Albus was surprisingly compliant in our company. I didn't have the energy to make supper before heading out for my swim lessons, so I whipped up a fresh tomato/zucchini/cilantro/onion/lemon salad, and left Kevin with instructions to top pitas with the salad and some cheese, grill them, and call it "pizza." I think it worked. Hurray for fresh, simple summer suppers.

I'm tending to exercise more in the evening than the early morning. Early mornings work when there is time to nap, and there isn't; I don't want to be zombie-like with everyone around.

This morning, we are having difficulty reaching consensus. I would like to go swimming. Albus agrees. Fooey and CJ are resistant to the idea. CJ is developing a quick temper that he applies as leverage. Fooey has a lot of rules and regulations, of her own devising, to which she expects everyone to adhere. Albus tends toward severe boredom when left to his own devices. And I miss my alone time.

These activities have made the short-list for today: swimming; back yard splashing; gardening; walking uptown to buy seeds, sticker books, and to visit the pharmacy for advice on what appears to be seasonal allergies (Albus); having a friend over (Albus); clearing out the playroom/office to paint it (probably too massive a project to survive the fantasy stage); cutting CJ's hair (couldn't bring myself to do so yesterday); cleaning out drawers and cupboards and hidden areas of the house that get ignored all year long.

I also have as a goal to preserve a vegetable or fruit every week: we'll call it Preservation By Theme. Last week the theme was strawberries. This week ... well, what's in season? Suggestions?

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