Saturday, September 6, 2014

65 Seconds of Summer

So even though today promises to be the hottest day of our summer so far, for me, summer is over. It's been over since school resumed on Tuesday and I retreated back into the cave haven that is my classroom for the next 10 months.

It seems like only yesterday that I was sighing a sigh of relief, knowing that those ten months were behind me and I had 65 lazy summer days ahead of me. Knowing what I know, I knew that those days would fly so I made a plan to make the best of my summer break. I made this list of 65 ways to make the most of 65 days.

So did I accomplish all of my goals? Was my summer super?

Well, yes...and no.

Yes, it was an awesome summer, but no, I did not accomplish all of my goals.

I did not replace the dead Boxwood bush in my front garden.
I did not train myself to drink more water.
I did not read the 20+ books I planned on reading.
I did not go to all of the Toronto events I hoped to attend.
I did not go to all of the restaurants I wanted to try.
I did not go to a matinee performance of a tear-jerking rom-com.


I did do a whole bunch of other super-cool stuff that fed my belly, my heart, and my brain.

Note: The following is my second attempt to list everything I did this summer. My first attempt was shaping up to be a super-long epic novel; I knew it was way too long but I didn't know how to make it shorter. But then, I taught my first real grammar & punctuation lesson of the year about the world's shortest, yet correct, sentence: a capital, a period, a noun, and a verb. In order to prove to the students that it is entirely possible to express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas in two words, I make the class each contribute to our World's Shortest Sentence Poem about their first week of school. And after much moaning, hair-pulling, cursing, and stomping, their poem comes together. And it's always awesome.

This concept inspired me to practice what I preach about saying the most in the least. Thus, I present to you, my most concise, yet epic poem yet:

After more than 20 years of
good memories, I finally
 said good bye to these
 Parisian-urchased Mary Janes.
65 Seconds of Summer
65. House cleaned.
64. Garage sale held.
64. Shoes sold.
63. Underwear bought?!
62. People trusted.
61. Money left.
60. New shoes bought.
59. Red meat shunned.
58. Swiss chard mastered.
57. Moo Milk Bar discovered & devoured.
56. Taste of China re-discovered & devoured.
55. Frittered-away morning.
54. Hooked on 19 Kids and Counting.
53. Binge-watched Homeland.
52. Ran regularly.
57. A Midsummer Night's Run conquered?
56. Conquered by A Midsummer Night's run.
55, 54, 53, 54, 52, 51 Young-Adult Fiction read.
50, 49, 48, 47 Other stuff read.
46. One Direction live.
45. Drunk One Direction fan barfed.
44. Daughter afraid.
43. Backed up Neil Zirconia (AKA The best Neil Diamond impersonator in South Florida)
42. Nerd Book party thrown.
41. Bonded over books with old friends.
40. Bonded over a Chinese buffet with new friends.
39. Pledged clean-eating.
38. Mastered fudge-making.
37. Demolished fudge.
36. Re-pledged clean-eating.
35. Whipped up smoothies.
34. Whipped up more smoothies.
33. DONE with smoothies.
32. Grew ONE SINGLE strawberry.
31. Gave up on growing strawberries.
30. Grew tons of other stuff.
29. Smiled proudly.
28. Fought fears.
27. The Dark fought back.
26. Became besties with my baby girl.
25. Worked off the Polar Vortex spare tire.
24. Got over the food truck fad.
23. Learned lots of history.
22. Watched history happen.
21. Beauty queens crowned.
20. Repeatedly tried to impress Gastropost.
19. Succeeded twice.
18. Became addicted to Aroma's Ice Lemon Mint.
17. Committed to coupons.
16. Endeavored to accept the Jew-Fro.
15. Hair straightened...permanently.
14. Auctions attended.
13. Found finds.
12. Friends reconnected.
11. The Beach visited.
10. Sea glass picked.
9.  Climbed a Blue mountain.
8. Scratched mosquito bites.
7. Took a step back.
6. Swam...a bit.
5. Didn't work.
4. Mellowed out.
3. Slushy drinks drank.
2. Worried a bit less.
1. Made good food

Black Bean, Corn, and Hearts of Palm Salad
This salad can be made with frozen corn but it's so much better with the fresh, sweet corn and super-sweet tomatoes you can only get at the end of summer. It's perfect for potlucks, big family barbecues, and most of all, leftovers the next day.

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 can hearts of palm, sliced into coins
1 cup cherry tomatoes (the smaller, the better)
2 ears of corn, cooked and removed from cob (either grill for 7-10 minutes or boil for 3-5 minutes)
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
juice of one lime (about 1 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything in a big bowl and mix 'er up good. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Mix it up, cover, and let sit for at least 1/2 hour for the flavours to come together.
Taste again, add more salt if needed, and serve.


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