I knew it was coming, the mother of all blog posts, I just didn’t know when!  When I would have the time to sit down and write about what feels like the last six months, but in reality it’s probably just the one.  I blame my absence from blogland completely and utterly on the weather!  You see, if I still lived in England I’d have all the time in the world to blog because I’d be stuck indoors day after day staring at the rain coming down, because from what I’ve seen, they’re yet again having a wet summer.  But I don’t live in England, I live in Michigan and I think we’re having one of the best summers I can remember in the last fifteen years of experiencing Michigan summers!  In fact, we could truly do with a bit of rain, I look at the weather channel constantly, and I mean constantly.  I scan the radar, I refresh the page, I look, I search, I beg, I plead and I pray for some rain!  We only got one measly inch of the wet stuff in July and so far August is shaping up the same way too.  But the absolutely best bit about this entire summer has been the constant and beautiful temperatures…. right around now we’re usually to be found shirking away in doors with the air conditioner for company as we watch the mercury climb over ninety degrees every single day.  We usually experience a summer where we turn down invitations to do things outside because it’s too darn hot, where any outdoor activity has to be completed by 10am, otherwise you’d either melt with the humidity or be fried to a crisp on days when the humidity has dropped out.  You enter into your house and breathe in weeks worth of stale cooking and general living smells because it’s too hot and/or humid to open up the windows and you get used to the “white noise” of the ac humming away in the background.

[These beautiful Aurelian Lillie’s perfumed my entire garden for a few weeks in July]

But not so this year.  This year I can count on one hand the number of ninety degree humid days (two!) so I can also count on one hand the number of times we’ve had to put the ac on (also two!).  I can also just about count on one hand the number of days where the temperature has peaked out over eighty degrees.  For the most part we have woken up to glorious blue skies and spring like temps reaching between 75 and 80 almost every day.  The windows and patio doors are wide, wide open all day with fresh summery breezes blowing through the entire house.  The evenings have been cool, almost fall like, but so blissful to be able to sleep well and feel rested in the morning, instead of waking up in a sweaty, rumpled mess from hours of tossing and turning in the humid night.  I’ve lost count how many times we’ve sat outside, either at home or elsewhere, and commented on this perfect summer.

[Just one of the car shows we attended, this one in conjunction with the racing track.  Our car is the dark blue one by the tree]

[It’s held in Depot Park in downtown Clarkston, about 3 miles North of the race track, and all the proceeds go to SCAMP, a summer camp program for mentally and physically disabled children]

[The lady who brought this car with the beautiful parrots painted on the bonnet also brought a real live parrot along too.  Apparently he loves going on drives with her in the car!]

Because of this perfect summer we’ve hardly been at home, or when we have been at home, we’ve been out in the garden and not stuck indoors.  There have been parties, and camping weekends and bike rides and air shows and race weekends and car shows and picnics and entire days spent at the park, and kayak trips and barbecues with friends and heaven only knows what else.  If I started showing you photos from everything it’d be Christmas before we were done!  About the only thing that would make this summer even more perfect is a bit of rain.  But I live in hope!

There’s been a fair bit of this going on too.  The outside trim around our house needed re-painting and after considering our options and looking at prices to have it done, Andrew decided to set himself a task and do it himself!  The only problem was we have a couple of VERY high points on the East and South side of the house which involved climbing up and down a very tall ladder and a great deal of balance on his part!  It even involved climbing on to the roof of the two story entrance porch at one point.  Needless to say, I’ve spent a great deal of time in the garden finding things to do when the really high painting was in progress,  just in case!

There’s also been a fair bit of this too.  Kayaking out at the lake whenever we get the opportunity.  We even did an evening kayak one day after work which was totally awesome, the sun was setting as we made out way back to the boat launch.

[I thought this was funny… a bloke in a little boat fixing a big boat!  This “pontoon” boat belongs to friends of ours, we often kayak into the boat dock to see if they’re there and have a little chat.]

And then there were the parties, we’ve been to three in the last six weeks.  One was a housewarming, the second was a surprise birthday party and the third one was the Independence Day celebrations at Kensington Metro Park, which is where we kayak, and it involved the pontoon boat above that Andrew was fixing.

We had lots of good food to eat as we all mucked in and brought things to share,  so much so in fact, that we had to put two picnic tables together in order to hold it all.  This was the scene as we prepared our afternoon feast:

Everyone was just hanging out and chit-chatting until it was time to eat:

Afterwards we went out on the pontoon boat for a cruise around the lake and a swim for the kids:

And then back on dry land we played games for a while:

Before the grand finale…. homemade ice-cream which we made right at the park and churned it by hand.  We all took a turn at the churning, the kids first when it was really soft and easy to churn, then the women for a bit , and finally the men.  By this stage it was like a brick and the container was jumping about all over the place.  It took two of us to hold it down while one person turned the handle.  I’ve never had “real” hand made ice cream like this and it was so worth the effort.  We ate the entire can and then licked out all the utensils too!

I have more photos but I really think I need to stop here and make another post.  I also have cards to show you too so I’ll do that separately also.  I really hope I can get more time to blog again as I’ve missed it so much, but just to give you some idea, it has taken over a week to put this post together (started 10 Aug) and I’m only just finishing it today.  Lots going on, which will probably continue for a while, but I’m not complaining, we’ve had a fantastic summer so far, apart from wanting a bit of rain.  Can anyone spare me any????