So, Phase 2 consists of June, July and half of August. And it kinda sucked.
First, it was SO FREAKING HOT outside that I ended up not being able to take my daily walk for most of the summer, which means I got zero exercise. Because, as I alluded to last time, I also gave up on doing that Figure 8 Fitness dancing DVD every day. After 2.5 months of doing it every night, I weighed myself and even though I did lose two pounds, I felt like I lost nothing. And I gave up.
In addition, work was incredibly busy. My company acquired two companies, one in Ireland and one in India, and the one in India was folding into my division. Which means, as part of the marketing team, I have to get all of their content, organize and catalog it, edit it, rebrand it and put it into our own catalog.
Many times, my tasks got delayed because when something from the solutions team shows up like a proposal to write, that comes first. So, I fell considerably behind eventually on getting everything rebranded. The deadline was October 1st. More on that later. But basically, I was exhausted mentally and emotionally and needed a break. I had taken only ONE day off all year other than holidays. I vowed to figure out how to take some time off soon.
Craft-wise, I switched to card-making since I ran out of stuff to scrap about. I have a small 6×6 plastic bin that contains “card bits,” or random pieces of things I think I will one day make cards from. You know, backgrounds, diecuts from mom, leftover papers from a card kit, stuff I’ve stamped from mom or other people, etc. Well, there’s no time like the present to dig into that sucker and get ‘er done! To date I’m around 60% done with that crap.
I also installed weekly Skype crafting sessions with mom. Those have been a lot of fun, and I had wanted us to try those for some time for us to more frequently work on my nephew’s scrapbook albums than the two times a year I go out there (or, never as the case is right now). It works great because I can do my own projects over here but still see what mom’s working on and provide advice.
Here are some other crafts I did over the summer:
There was a lot of Zoom calls with friends, too, as well as one or two distanced walks in parks with a friend in the mornings before it got TOO FREAKING HOT (did I mention that already?). Even though we normally don’t do anything for the Fourth of July, we especially made a point to do nothing for it this year.
Getting my hair did…not
On July 2nd, I finally got the new color scheme of my hair. My hairdresser and I had planned it ever since a year ago when I had the purple and green done.
I had to take a day off from work because it took 6 hours. I looked like I was in A Flock of Seagulls while it was heat-setting.
It was supposed to be red, orange and yellow. It turned out like this.
The red ate everything. Then it faded. Fast. This was just one week after.
And this is two.
By the time I went back to see her six weeks later, it looked like total crap. The red was all gone and it left behind patchy, faded-looking yellow. So, it had to go. Not sure I care to bother with a 6-hour, $300+ color scheme like that again. Might just stick with one solid color for a while…
Another fun “stop and smell the roses” aspect of 2020 was the beautiful nature we experienced. First, JC keeps expanding his garden more and more in our backyard, so this year we had an entire huge row of plants, ranging from white strawberries to purple peppers to two kinds each of spinach and lettuce. We also had round cucumbers, two kinds of tomatoes, green beans, squash, carrots, little red peppers, potatoes…and I’m probably forgetting something.
Here are some of the fruits of his labor. They were delish!
Plus, we now have two huge planters on our deck for assorted wildflowers. They attract the bees so it’s fun to watch them bloom and see the little guys all over the place. Plus, they are just mixes so you never know what’s going to spring up. This year, this planter went through stages, with different flowers blooming throughout the summer.
But the best thing to happen was that we had a pair of swallows build a nest right above our front door! We first saw them coming into our porch every day and chit-chatting. Then, they began building their next from mud and twigs and we never thought it would work. They were building on a quarter-inch ledge, but boy golly, they did it.
Then we weren’t sure if they had any babies, but momma was sitting up there and dad was sleeping on our light on the other side of the door at night. Soon enough, little fuzzballs began to show up, and mom was flying around all the time to bring them food.
It wasn’t that big of a nest, but over June and July we saw 1, 2, 3, 4 and eventually 5 babies emerge! First they looked ugly but then they were totes adorbs.
So, we just left them alone and tried not to go out the front door too often. Eventually, they all learned to fly out of the nest, and for a few days, all 7 of them would come back to our porch at night and sleep on another window ledge near the next. Then one day, they left and never returned. 🙁
But in doing some research, once a pair of swallows builds a nest, they return to it for life, and if you tear it down, they will build a new one. So, this is something to looking forward to next year.
Oh yeah, that game I love is back!
The end of July saw a shinning moment of 2020: the return of hockey to finish out the 2019-2020 season. The NHL set up two bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, since Canada has considerably lower COVID numbers than the US. They planned out every single little detail and played with ZERO COVID cases for two whole months. It was thrilling, really, to have hockey in the summer.
They started out with a lot of teams playing for seeding and qualifying for the Stanley Cup, so games were going on all day long. You know I had those streaming while I was working!
They also had a bit of fun with the situation, which I really appreciated.
All in all the NHL gets mad props. They executed everything so well, and the arenas were covered in vinyl seat coverings and huge screens to make the arenas not feel so empty and void of life. They had every team’s signature goal music and it was just incredible.
Unfortunately, they don’t yet know when they will start the 2020-2021 season, so here I sit in the prime of autumn with no hockey.
It’s been tradition for around a decade now that mom and I go to a Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Convention. The last few years, we’ve gone to one of the biggest ones in Lancaster, PA. Clearly, this year it did not happen, but instead, they made it virtual. So why not give it a shot?
All of my class kits that I had purchased back in March were sent to me, and I got to watch the classes and do the kits when I had the time. In addition, in a private Facebook group, the main vendors and stores showed videos and gave discount codes to go shop at their stores. Some videos were product demos, some were just fun looks into their warehouses, some showed the latest products.
It was honestly exhausting to sit at the computer for two days straight, flip through website after website and spend too much money. It was like Christmas, though, when all the goodies came flooding in! Of course this doesn’t compare to the ‘walk the floor and look at everything and spend so much that your bag is heavy on your shoulder’ experience, but ya know, it’s better than nothing and I had a great time. (That was my one day off, mind you.)
Communion from bed
Lastly, my nephew Leonardo was on target to make his First Holy Communion in the Catholic church in May. It perfectly fell the weekend after the Toronto Create and Inspired huge scrapbooking event in Toronto.
I am Leo’s godmother, so I really wanted to be there. But when they rescheduled the Communion to early August, well, that was not an option for several reasons. Instead, I ended up watching the live church service on a Saturday morning from bed in my pajamas. He did a great job, but like I said, it sucked.