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As Summer Sets July 22, 2012

Posted by alwaysjan in Life, Personal.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Idaho – This is where God lives.

There’s no denying it. The end of summer is in sight, especially since this year the first day of school has been moved up to August 20th. How can this be? I just emerged from my school-induced coma! My husband said I could become a professional sleeper, but I like to think of my inert state as similar to a medically induced coma. I’m allowing the swelling to go down, so my brain cells can regenerate.

It’s no secret that most visitors to my blog are seeking information on Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I don’t often write as much about school or my personal life. But there are times when I, too, need a respite. So please hear me out.

I feel the need to take stock in what I HAVE accomplished so far this summer. Mind you, it doesn’t help that I set the bar so low that I literally trip over it when I get out of bed. My summer mantra is “Things to do – get dressed by 2.”

1) I’ve watched the entire first season of Downton Abbey so I can hold up my end of the conversation in the Teacher’s Lounge. I did make the mistake of calling my husband “Carson.” I won’t make that mistake again.

2) I flew back to the Midwest to help my mother write a zillion thank you notes to friends and family who helped when my father died in early March. My sidekick was my niece, whose job it was to provide me with comic relief. Well done, Ali! While rummaging through drawers, I stumbled upon my report card from Second Grade. I was happy to see that I “read with comprehension.”

We ate at the wonderful Bluebird Cafe in Kansas City then wandered around the neighborhood. Cathy said that a lot of scenes from “The United States of Tara” were shot in this locale. What a find!

3) While back in the Midwest, I drove down to Kansas City to visit my college roommate, Cathy aka Catherine Sherman on my blogroll. She took me off to explore parts of Kansas City I never could have imagined. Way cool. Old friends are gold friends indeed.

4) At 1/2 Price Books in Omaha, I picked up two books, Olive Kitteridge and Year of WondersI read both. Olive Kitteridge is a collection of overlapping stories that revolve around a retired teacher living in a small town in Maine. Most of the characters would qualify for the senior discount, so when the going gets rough they cheer themselves up with the thought that if things get any worse, they can always commit suicide. Did I mention that this book won the Pulitzer Prize? Year of Wonders is set in the plague years in England. I highly recommend it.

5) We drove (with the younger kiddo) to Idaho to visit my husband’s family and celebrate his father’s 88th birthday. I haven’t done long haul driving in years, and our younger son was barred from driving my husband’s car, so it was just the two of us and all those Starbucks gift cards I received from students at the end of the year. The photo of the sunset was taken as we drove by McCammon, Idaho. All three of us had our iPhones out and then I remember asking, “Hey, who’s driving the car?!!!)

One of the musical chairs from the Extreme Makeover house made from the piano that was salvaged from the fire.

We stayed with my husband’s sister Jane in her Extreme Makeover house. She’s since opened a Montessori school, The Morningside House,  in her basement. My husband said when I saw it, he thought I was going to cry. There were actually TWO sinks and some newfangled things called electrical outlets.

6) While in Idaho we saw my oldest son and his girlfriend. We laughed so hard at the new Japanese restaurant, Sumisu, that the waitress declared that we were her Number One table for the night. It also helps that we Californians are accustomed to tipping 20 percent, whereas the local Mormons tend to only tip 10 percent. Is this what it feels like to be a “whale” in Las Vegas?

7) Having returned home, I’ve already (with a lot of help from my husband) repainted out bedroom in the same color that I loved in the Extreme Makeover house. It’s Sherwin Williams “Seascape.” When the guy told me how much the paint cost  (it was already mixed at that point) my jaw dropped. It must have flecks of gold in it!

Now that the end of Summer Vacation is in sight, I’m trying to make the most of every day. In no time at all, I’ll be sitting in the Teacher’s Lounge eating a partially defrosted Lean Cuisine. Up next is working on a picture book that I’ve had in mind for quite some time. I might have to start sleeping in my clothes so as to get a head start on each day.

Here’s to sitting out on the front porch and watching the world go by.

Photo Credits: Jan Marshall


1. CZBZ - July 22, 2012

10% tips? You musta been in the big city, like Twin Falls or something.

Loved the photo at the top of the page. Idaho is indeed, where God and His Kingdom dwells. They’re hunkered down in bunkers but who needs a roof when dirt will do?

How great that your sister-in-law has opened a school in her home! That was fun to read about. And the book recommendations! I’ll check ’em out. I’m wearying of books on psychopathy.

All in all, a wonderful post to read…

P.S. Can you believe the price of Paint???!!!! I plan on selling my car to pay for the paint in my family room.



2. kiwigal007 - July 23, 2012

Mmm thats interesting because I thought here in New Zealand we were known as Godzone 😉 Good on you Jan and as far as being a professional sleeper goes, I am too.. must be our starsign perhaps?? Oddly enough I found myself often sleeping or at least dozing when C and I were together. It was as if I was so worn out at times with all his up’s and down’s. I would sometimes retreat into the bedroom and leave him to it


Loved reading this right down to the Lean Cuisine for your meal breaks on your return.. ahhh well! 😀 dems the breaks huh?

Hugs from me too

Shell 🙂

I learn something from my international readers every day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God's_Own_Country
I do think the Aussies are taking license with claiming this term as theirs also!
I’ve heard that New Zealand is stunning – I’ve got quite a few sheep there who read my blog as well. >wink< Jan


3. The President Elect - July 23, 2012

I will soldier on, vacationing on your behalf in Maine. We leave on the red-eye tomorrow. Frogs will be captured and released in your name.

Just remember that the PTA loves you and will provide you with… get ready… drum roll… a whopping $20 gift card for your classroom (or Diet Cokes, whichever). Hey, at least you’re getting a good class this year! 🙂 It’ll be #12, take #2.

See you soon!

I’m most honored that frogs will be released in my name. When my boys were small we raised tadpoles in a lasagna dish on the dining room table that were later released. I liked to think of it as evolution in fast forward! Twenty dollars is always appreciated, but I don’t do Diet Coke – I’m a purist. Being on a health kick, I’ve downgraded to the mini Cokes. 🙂 Looking forward to getting to know that little firecracker of yours. Jan


4. Catherine Sherman - July 23, 2012

I’ve driven in downtown Kansas City several times lately after your visit, and I am now on the lookout for more photo opportunities for your next visit.

The blue bottle house was great. Glad you posted the photo. That section of street was like out of the Twilight Zone.

Thanks for posting the photo of the recycled piano parts in the chair, which you mentioned in your comment on my old piano post. I’d been curious to see how that was done!

What a gorgeous shot of the sunset!

It is shocking how expensive paint is these days. I always try to wait for a paint sale, but of course the shade I want is never for the brand that is currently on sale. Just choosing a shade is mind-boggling. Seeing the actual color on someone’s walls is really the best way to choose. I chose what I thought was a very light yellow for a bedroom. After the room was painted, it was like being in a lemon pie.

You’re such a great photographer that I’m always pleased when any of my photos is deemed worthy – especially since most are taken with an iPhone! I look forward to exploring more of Kansas City with you – you’re my designated driver as I’m lost in that city of seemingly endless boulevards! And yes, yellow is hands down the hardest color to get right. Jane’s guest apartment where we’ve stayed last year also is painted Seascape. It’s such a lovely color she painted her Montessori classrooms that color as well. I’m loving it! Jan


5. Lesley - July 23, 2012

What a great colour combination both in the sunset and in the room you’ve shown. I love the huge apothecaries chest. I’ve a tiny one in my lounge…so useful for bits and pieces.
Your sunset pic could have been made for that room….? The turquoise hues against the earth tones,stunning.
I wondered if you were going to send her a pic?i
I always love the slice of life you bring to us Jan…you’re a walking tonic for the soul.


I’ve put that photo as the wallpaper on my iPhone. It was just amazing to see those rays of light, especially after 14 hours of quality family time in the car! I have yet to print out an actual photo – it’s always interesting to see if the quality holds up when you blown it up to print size. Thanks for the compliment, Les. Though, I’m often a walking G&T for the soul! Jan


Lesley - July 23, 2012

Ha! laughing here. I’ve tracked down a couple of ones over my home city,over water…which God seems to have touched also. They are on their way.
G&T,you Britophile you! During the hols I allow myself 2 of these a day,so I get you. I rein it back during term time to 1… On Hogmany though…go figure!(that adoption of language works both ways over ‘the pond’)

I could have gone total Brit and just referred to it as a T&T. (RIP Amy Winehouse) Whenever my Lesley from Suffolk arrives, she likes to explain our debauchery with “I’m on holiday!”) My pig insisted I google Hogmany. Got it! I sent you a picture of two raunchy redheads. 🙂 Jan


6. shoutabyss - July 24, 2012

Wow. What an amazing photo!


7. Ed Darrell - July 26, 2012

While back in the Midwest, I drove down to Kansas City to visit my college roommate, Cathy aka Catherine Sherman on my blogroll.

Not separated at birth, not even joined until a long time after! Did I know you two know each other before this? It explains a lot — but it still shocked me to Ms. Sherman mentioned on this blog.

Small world.

Hi Ed,
Yes, Catherine (Cathy to me) and I were college roommates at KU and have been best friends ever since. We’ve mentioned each from time to time in blog posts and are frequent commenters on each other’s blogs. Cathy is the one who got me blogging and also turned me on your blog. 🙂 It’s a small world indeed as I never knew you grew up in Utah. Life is funny that way. Always, Jan


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