Summer fun and a fictional interlude

It’s been a busy summer, and most of my writing time has been devoted to fiction. I am four and a half chapters into the novel I’ve been meaning to write for years. Is it the Great American Novel? Probably not. But I’m writing it anyway.

Aside from that, I’ve been trying to catch up on my reading goals. As of today, according to Goodreads, I’ve read 84 books so far this year, which puts me 11 books behind schedule to get to 155 by the end of the year. I’ve also been working on the Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge – I’ve got 5 books left to go to finish that up.

Hiking and photos at Black Point with Tom

In between reading and writing and working, there have been lots of other activities to keep me busy. June was mostly rain and more rain. But I did get a sunny vacation day hike at Black Point followed by lunch at Iggy’s. I ended my vacation night with “Dips and Del’s” – this month’s alternative to bunco. Everyone brought a different dip – savory or sweet – and we had a fun night of eating and game playing…many laughs as usual.

Peanut Butter Cup Imperial Stout at Trillium

July started with a few days off over the holiday and a weekend trip to Boston with Tom to see Phish at Fenway. A visit to Trillium – and their Peanut Butter Cup Imperial Stout – kicked off the afternoon, followed by lunch at Row 34. A rain delay at Fenway held up the start of the show, but our grandstand seats were nice and dry and I enjoyed watching the lightning out beyond the park. It was a great show, including Wolfman’s Brother – one of my favorites. I’ll be honest, I’m kind of a Phish fan by marriage. I like them, but I’m not really a jam band girl…my mind wanders too much and next thing I know I’m writing a blog post in my head instead of listening to the music.

The following week brought a concert of a different kind – Mom and I headed to The Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid and knew him only as the guy who sang that Popeye song. He put on a two-hour show without a break. It got me thinking a lot about my taste in music and how much I really do love rock and roll. Stay tuned for a future post about that.

The Great Nana Special

I had another vacation day in July – a summer pool day and bunco at Mom’s – another crazy day and night of family and fun. The bunco girls teamed up for a special gift of “16 treats” for my nephew Ryan’s 16th birthday. Always one of my favorite nights of any month. As usual, the food was fabulous and I helped myself to the Great Nana special – a little bit of everything at dessert.

Hamilton!!!

Another highlight of July was Hamilton at the Providence Performing Arts Center. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack obsessively for ages so it was a thrill to be able to see the show. We had pretzels for dinner at Malted Barley before the show – it’s a quick and easy walk from the theater and the food is fantastic! I’m slowly working my way through “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, and hearing snippets of the soundtrack in my head as I read. (Photo of Ally and Ryan posted with their permission…not that any of their friends are likely to see it.)

Looking forward to August being a bit more mellow – although I’m missing this year’s trip to the Jersey Shore because I couldn’t get this week off. Hopefully next year we’ll finally get our pizza delivered to the beach, Jamie!

Tom has gone with his brother to visit their parents in Alabama, so I’m on my own this week. Reading, writing and eating all the food I know Tom doesn’t like while he’s away. I’m on a mission to clean sweep the house too…already have two bags of clothes to donate. We’ll see how long I drive them around in my car before I finally drop them at the St Gregory’s clothing shed.

It’s been a bit of an adjustment for me this year, not taking most of my vacation time in the summer. Not being tied to the high school calendar any more has freed up my vacation availability somewhat, so I took the week of Columbus Day in October, which just happens to include my birthday. That will be a nice break, but in the meantime it’s been a long hot summer with not much down time. I’ve got the last week of August booked for vacation and I’m very much looking forward to it. Stay tuned!

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