Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekending at Midsummer

We had some friends over last weekend to celebrate Midsummer. When I proposed the idea to my man, he said, "Should we book a housecleaning service for before?" "Nope," I said. "Well, should we arrange yard service?" "Nope," I said.

I think sometimes the feeling that we should have our house in perfect shape--for him that means perfectly clean and for me it's more like perfectly arranged/decorated--stops us from inviting people over and socializing. I had this idea that I wanted to have a gathering and not stress out about it.

Not stressing out about it is easier said than done of course. But I cleaned the heck out of the bathroom and made a bunch of food and let go of a lot of other things and it felt good.

(A string of solar lanterns gives even an ugly fence some atmosphere. I didn't even notice the dead morning glory vine in the chain links until I uploaded these pictures, and I'm willing to bet no one else did either.)

I ran a couple of strings across our back patio overhead and thought the kids could use watercolors to paint coffee filters to look like flowers, in lieu of a maypole. My girl made an example and we clothespinned it to one of the strings and that was the only one that got made. Instead the kids ran around in a semi-feral manner, got scratched by blackberry brambles, dug a random hole in the backyard, and rolled around in the tent (at one point, literally rolled around the tent, at which point my man had the good sense to stake it down).

There was a lot of good food and a little too much aquavit and I didn't take any pictures and it was all just about exactly, imperfectly right. I think we'll do it again next year.

On another note, Midsummer seems like a good time to revisit a list of goals that has, I admit, fallen by the wayside. Here are some more specific aspirations for the time between summer solstice and fall equinox:

1. Pair of shorts for me
2. Finish poppy sundress, freaking finally
3. Birthday dress for my girl
4. Catch up on gift making (I have two babies and one sister to make things for)
5. Five new poems
6. Sketches for embroidery sampler
7. Figure out how to prep veg on the weekend so it is easier to cook during the week
8. New cushion covers for midcentury armchair
9. Barn quilt, I mean really, why the hell not?

It's a lot! But better to set a high bar and not reach it than not bother to make a plan at all, right? That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.


  1. That's way more than I could ever do! But they all sound like fun things to do, and have me thinking that I need more fun projects on my list. That said, I'm off to go get into my painting clothes to finish painting our family room...

    And I'm with you on low-prep parties. A few years back we started peeling wallpaper off our kitchen wall just days before a party. (Why? I don't know.) I realized that it didn't matter. Our friends wouldn't care one bit. They didn't, and it was really freeing to realize that.

    Happy summer to you!

  2. Yes, I think the key is to plan a bunch of fun projects, and convince yourself that they are actually practical. :-) Good luck with the painting--yes, yes, that is probably the more sensible approach.