Looking Back at July and Ahead to August

I opened my back door this morning to let all three of our animals out and the wildlife that had been enjoying our yard scattered. The squirrel who had been looking for nuts darted up a tree and the blue jays quickly flew away. This is probably because our dog is a barking nuisance, and our cats are psychopathic killers.

It became more evident in July what a killer the youngest cat, Scout, is. We’ve lost count of how many carcasses we’ve found around our house. Birds. Mice. Moles. So far I’ve watched her run across the yard with a mouse, a baby bird, and a small snake in her mouth.

I had to wrestle a baby bird from her one day while the mama bird screamed from the tree tops, but the bird was too young to survive out of the nest and died the next day. I had placed it in a bird house high up, away from the cat, but I think the mom abandoned it to take care of the other babies. Another day I pinned her down to allow another young bird to escape.

A few days later, though, my husband reported there was a dead bird laying in front of our side door like some kind of ominous warning. A week after that my dad found a dead bird in our sideyard.

Twice I distracted her to save the lives of two mice. The Boy says my last attempt failed when he found the mouse later in the day squished in the middle of the street in front of our house.

It’s like an Alfred Hitchcock movie at our place these days. We have a woodchuck in our backyard, but so far Scout has brought him down. He’s four times her size, but I have no doubts she could do it.

So looking back at July, I remember a month of death courtesy of Scout. I’m sure our older cat Pixel has killed many things as well since she’s done so in the past, but she seems a little more private about her killing sprees. Scout likes to do it in the backyard while we are all out there so she can show off her murdering prowess.

July was an extremely busy month full of various activities such as trips to swimming pools, playdates with friends, running errands, parades, a carnival, an anniversary, outings, going to movies, watching flowers bloom and die, family visits, and gymnastic classes.

I shared a ton of photos of the month earlier today in a separate post, but I’ll share a few here as well.

Toward the beginning of the month, we attended the firemen’s parade and carnival in the town my husband works in, which is also the town where the high school I graduated from is located.

That was also the week both my daughter and my dad had fainting or near fainting spells. A couple of weeks later my son also had a brief fainting spell. We believe my daughter’s actual fainting spell was related to drinking orange juice too fast and not being able to get a breath while my dad’s and The Boy’s were brought on by dehydration and not eating properly. None of them had to go to the doctor but if it happens again to any of them, they will be in a doctor’s office.

My husband was busy with rehearsals for a small part in a musical put on by the local community theater throughout the entire month of June and July with the musical being performed toward the end of the month.

My days were filled with taking Little Miss to my parents’ pool and turning on the sprinkler for her and her brother. I also took her to gymnastics every Monday (or a Saturday or two if we missed our Monday class), went to dinner with my husband for our 20th anniversary, watched the boys unload wood we bought for our woodstove this winter, helped Little Miss pick blackberries, watched Little Miss jump on the neighbors’ trampoline, meet the neighbor’s grandsons, visit my neighbor who broke her ankle, avoided political events, read a lot about Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series, read through four Ramona Quimby books, cooked a ton of meals, washed a bunch of dishes after our dishwasher broke (ugh! Have to do that today too!), and shopped for groceries three times. Honestly, looking back at all the photos of what we did in July makes me very tired.

As I look ahead to August, I am certain there will be many more pool visits, sprinkler runs, playdates with friends, outings, grocery trips, and errands, but there will also be plans being made for school, which I plan to start on August 31.

For the last couple of years, I have followed a similar schedule to local schools, which start the first week of school on the Wednesday prior to Labor Day. This gives my kids a three-day school week the first week, a four-day the second week (with a day off for Labor Day), and then five-day weeks after that. This year, however, I am considering a four-day-a-week homeschooling schedule, leaving Fridays for fun activities or, well, quite frankly, grocery shopping since I have to drive half an hour to get groceries and by the time I get back a good chunk of my day has been eaten away.

Speaking of school, I had planned to give Little Miss lessons every other day in Math but so far that has not panned out. I hope to remedy that in August so that we don’t have to completely start from scratch when we get back into the swing of things at the end of the month.

The month kicks off Wednesday with my mom’s 78th birthday and after that, we don’t have any other birthdays or anniversaries we need to remember for the month. September is when our birthday and anniversary season picks up with my birthday in the middle of the month and my parents’ anniversary at the beginning. At the beginning of October is Little Miss’s birthday. At the beginning of November is The Boy’s and my aunt’s birthday and at the end of November is my brother and sister-in-law’s anniversary and The Husband’s birthday (which are actually on the same day).

But before we get to autumn (which I am really looking forward to this year! Cool mornings, warm tea or cocoa, beautiful fall colors, etc.), we have to finish summer and we still have a whole month. Temperatures have been perfect the last few days but they are set to rise again this week, which will be perfect for swimming and hiding inside. We have a playdate scheduled for tomorrow, a birthday party for my mom on Wednesday, a trip to a town near us on Friday, which will include grocery, clothes, and book shopping, so already my week is filling up.

So much for the relaxed, easy-going summer, I thought we would have, but at least most of what we’ve been doing has been fun.

How about you? How has your summer been going? How was your July and what are you looking forward to in August?