a list :: summer projects

now that I'm down to just two days left of working (you know, for money) before summer break starts, (and yes I realize that being able to say that, as a grown-up, means I'm pretty fortunate) I've gotta start thinking about some summer projects.

here's the list rattling around in my mind thus far:

:: learn how to play the violin recently gifted to me by my grandfather.  his father gave it to him, and I'm told it is about 100 years old.  I am more than a bit intimidated by this goal.  mostly because I am gaining on 33 and not, say, 7 or 8, which seems to be the age by which you are supposed to learn to do these kinds of things.  I'm thinking irish-fiddle style is right up my alley...

:: print actual real life copies of photos of Claire and start a photo album

:: work on the small (really small, more like a big fancy puddle, really) pond we have planned for the bottom of the new stone retaining wall

:: make a large painting to hang above our front door, and a sign/painting to put on the coop

:: learn to make cheese and yogurt

:: read.  lots and lots of wonderful books.  I am open to suggestions, by the way.  my usual favorite genres are historical fiction and memoirs, but I'm not stuck on them.

:: take a few (big and small) road trips.  maybe even one all by my very own self.

:: take her on her first backpacking trip (which is also to say my first backpacking trip since I was about 4 months pregnant- been a while)

:: throw in a few car camping trips, some canoeing, and plenty of swimming hole adventures

:: become a morning person, at long last.  like for real and not just every now and then.  I will need cheerleaders, I think.  and extrinsic motivation.  maybe even some rewards.

I'm sure there are other things to add, but for starters, this is already quite ambitious, I'm thinking


  1. that photo of the violin is absolutely amazing. Stunning. Your summer list of summer projects is amazing as well, but that violin....xo

  2. PS what kind of camera do you have? just curious. xo

    1. nothing too fancy~ it is a Canon EOS rebel XTi, and it is about 7 or 8 years old. I've been using this lens almost exclusively for a while now:

      it is lightweight and super inexpensive in the world of lenses

    2. thanks for the reply! i think it is the woman that makes the photos not the camera! really! but I just got a 50mm 1.8 for my nikon and I am so in love that I am now drooling over 2 more prime lenses. (35mm AND an 85mm). But I believe those will have to wait. xo

  3. Oh, I would LOVE to play Irish fiddle.

    And piano.

    Wondering why I don't make them priorities as I've wanted to do both for so long.

    Your list sounds wonderful. We just watched a documentary on the Rockefellers and it was soooo intriguing. Looking for a book now.

    1. learning to play the fiddle has been on my list for years. once, about 5 years ago, I went so far as to call up a local music school and inquire about prices for lessons. so, you know.... baby steps ;)

  4. Ooooh! Enjoy the violin, Amanda. Your violin is beautiful! My husband gave me one for Christmas a few years ago and I took lessons up until Bea was born...since then, well, no time to practice...however, it's so fun and it's such a wonderful instrument.

    What a wonderful summer list! Enjoy!

    1. thank you! I need to get on it. I have the names and numbers for two teachers now, so that's something~

  5. you had me at starting a photo album.
    i have the album.
    now if I would just order the damn photos!!!!
    thanks for the inspiration.

    p.s. you won my giveaway, send me a mailing addy.

    1. yeah, we get spoiled in this digital age don't we? I need to spend a few hours going through photos and ordering prints. filling the album will be the fun part! I like the ones that have little lines under each photo for you to write in.....

      yay! just emailed you!

  6. Ooh that photo.

    As for books - I am obsessed with Ursula Le Guin at the moment. I think you might like - she is Taoist.

    I'm Irish (as in properly, brought up there and such), and love the Irish fiddle.
    Have you heard the band Kila? Might be some inspiration.

    Lol, so want to be a morning person too...

    1. thank you for the book recommendation, Rachel~ I will definitely check her out! I've not heard of that band, but will also be checking them out. Inspiration is good. and much needed.

      for me it's all about getting to bed early enough (of course that's what it's about, right?), the last three days I've been doing alright with it, and the mornings are much better because of it. and if I can rise even just a bit before my little one does, and have however many moments of a quiet house to myself, well, that's good for the soul too.


  7. i want to take fiddle lessons with Bea. Suzuki style, I've heard, is great. Maybe that would be a fun way for you to dive in as well! And she and I have cheese-making on our list of summer to do's. And there's always so much more reading that I want to do. And more going to bed at a decent time so that all of these goals can at least look appealing in the daytime. Blah, blah, blah...I updated our photo album situation a couple of months ago and that took lots of motivation, but I'm quite proud, except that the time is ticking and soon I'll have to get cracking adding more photos. There's always more photos...which is great, but daunting.

    1. I've got a recommendation for an Irish fiddle Suzuki method teacher- just need to make the next (giant) leap! oh gosh, hadn't even thought about doing it with Claire....what a cute little fiddle that would be! but for now, I think I need this to be a me thing. I think. a friend of mine recently dove right into cheese-making and I'm wanting to get on board- I hear yogurt is super easy, too.

      the photo album.... I need to just get it together and order dozens (hundreds?) of them and get going with it. I love projects like that once I've got all I need in hand and can just do it. It's always those first steps.


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~