In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

Search This Blog

Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Make the Most of Every Season

I have 2 related problems.

One, and this may be because I am a lefty -- we are visual organizers, apparently -- I can't remember to do a thing unless it's written right there in front of me.

Two, I devolve into panic as each season ends because I havent done all the things I intended to do and life is slipping away inexorably and soon I will be dead or dying and wondering why I didn't fit in one last swim at Beaver Dam before the weather turned and condo developers took over the site?

So when I went to my friend Heidi's house (a Victorian mansion in Oak Park, Illinois) I was delighted to see a piece of butcher paper tacked to the kitchen wall with all these very summer specific activities listed on it. She explained that at the onset of each season the family makes a list of all the things they want to do (and have to do: ie, read summer school books) before the next season begins. Whenever the kids are at a loss ("I'm bored!") or the family is wondering what to do with their weekend, the List is right there, ready and wiling to tell them.

So let's all do that! Tack up your butcher paper, get your pens out, and start writing.

Fall is fast approaching.

Here is my list, which I will shortly transfer to paper. (share yours in the comment section so I can crib from your list)

Go apple picking

make apple pies

carmelize the last of summer cherry tomatoes and freeze for sauce

slice and freeze peaches for pies

hike old rag mountain

help out at a winegrape harvest

clean my gutters

sweep my leaves

make carrot potato soup with dill and cheddar

make a chocolate cake and invite friends over on a saturcday afternoon for a walk and cake

go to the museums (they are free in DC, its awesome)

walk to brunch at the Tabard Inn

hike Old Rag mountain

go to the Brimfield flea market

make fires in the fireplace

make chili

paint my dining room chairs

knit a scarf for my niece

have an apple fritter party

make donuts

make cheese fondue

go to a corn maze (the last time I totally freaked out and ran for my life and sprained my ankle)

go to a pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin

make one of them martha stewarty gorgeous pumpkins

do something scary at my house for halloween (or just hide inside with the lights out)

go to trapeze school

ride a horse out at Desert Rose winery

buy/make xmas presents in advance

deep clean every room

learn arabic (I keep saying that)

plant baby lettuce

spend the day in Baltimore

eat crabs before the weather turns

make popcorn

1 comment:

  1. I grew up with a grandmother who was an antique dealer. twice a year, we always skipped July, we would 'do' Brimfield. She would set up on the field in her woodie station wagon, later her van. We would park on the outskirts of the field in a winnebago we rented. Back in the day it was a 3 day even.t We would get in a queue on Friday morning before sun up to get the good spots in the field. I always remember Friday and Saturday nights when all the buyers left we would have the player piano guy putting the rolls on, the Disney collectors showing films on the side of heir winnebagos, everyone hanging out. One big family.
    I know it has VASTLY changed over the years, but I still recommend a trip. Their ain't nothing like it.