Summer Highlights by the Numbers

It's Labor Day, which means summer is over (yeah yeah, it goes until September 22nd or something, but when you're on a school calendar, it's over now). It was glorious and recharging and I did an AMAZING job of keeping July pretty sacred, and then August was pretty much school stuff from the start. But, I feel excited, and rejuvenated, and ready. 

Books: 22 (summer is defined by time out of school, so 6/26 - Labor Day)

My absolute favorite was The Book of Delights, which I wrote about here. Lots of great books, only a couple that were stinkers in my mind (but books are very personal! my stinker might be your ooooolala!). And a wide range of nonfiction, realistic fiction, twisty/murdery, fantasy, young adult, romance, essays...lots of variety. 

Puzzles: 6

Kind of appropriate that I ended on the Summer one. Hand in hand with puzzles is podcasts -- I zone out completely when I puzzle and listen to podcasts. The three I listened to most were My Favorite Murder (Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff's true crime/comedy podcast), Outrageous Love (Dr. Sharokky Hollie's Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Teaching podcast), and The Daily (NY Times). 

Adventures: 4

First adventure: my very first conference as a teacher leader where I got to stay in a hotel, in Ithaca, NY for the Diversity Symposium of Thought Leaders and travel with three other awesome women in my district. We had an amazing time and I left energized and excited (albeit with a mild case of COVID around 5 days later. Not counting COVID as an adventure.)

Second adventure: Stand-Up Paddleboarding in a water trail area of Bay Creek with my friend. So much fun I bought an inflatable board so now I can go any time. Also, I learned that if you must choose between a flock of swans and geese that could nip you and steering into reeds, choosing the reeds puts you in the water with the birds and they just fly away. So, um, yeah. 

Third adventure: I went to a football game. A real, live, SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS adventure with tailgating. I was invited by my newly retired principal (who has season Bills tickets) to go to a preseason game with another teacher I work with, and the game started at 1 but for some reason we left at 8. Apparently there is tailgating in the parking lot and you drink and play cornhole for hours before you watch men in tight pants throw a ball and throw each other to the ground. It was HOT, and SUNNY, and I had way more hard seltzer than water, and my shorts were pretty much soaked in sweat by the time we left, but man it was fun and the Bills won over the Colorado Horses by a landslide. YAY SPORTS! I'm not sure this is the life for me but I was proud of myself for doing something not in my comfort zone. Definitely an adventure! 

Fourth adventure: Driving 1000 miles round trip to southeastern Indiana and back. I drove through Western NY, a corner of Pennsylvania, pretty much the length (height?) of Ohio, a little swerve of Kentucky and into Indiana. By myself. I did not mind (more podcasts!), and Bryce had to work, so off on an adventure I went. I saw a lot of family and enjoyed my new car very much. 

New Car: 1

Helloooooo, Bluebird! Finally! Accident April 22nd, car arrived around August 3rd. Thank goodness for my mom letting me borrow her Subaru in the meantime. I was real glad to have a backup camera again and all the fun bells and whistles, and I've gotten used to the nice middle blue color. Ahhhh, glad to put that behind me (knock on all the wood ever). 

Pretty, no? I also put my Ravenclaw sticker on the opposite window from the magnet on the gas cap that says "Not to spoil the end, but everything's going to be okay." Yay. 

Actual Vacations: 0

This is okay, because Bryce is in the FINAL STRETCH of his PhD and he completed his Research Review this summer. So he worked and worked and worked and we basically staycationed and I went on my fun adventures and homebody times and it was just fine. I am looking forward to having a PhD-Moon when this is all over, which should be before the end of this year! 

And that's a wrap! Off to a new school year, last teacher onboarding day tomorrow and then the kids come on in on Wednesday. Here we go! 


  1. What a great summer! I'm so glad you were able to keep July sacred. So many books, so many puzzles, and several awesome adventures!! What a great summer indeed. (I am thrilled for Bryce too, for getting his Research Review completed. Woo hoo!! Getting closer to that PhD!)

  2. Jiminy Crickets you packed a lot into your summer. Kudos! Love the car, the puzzles, the podcasts.. Squee!!

  3. How fabulous! You relaxed, read, and had adventures, and that sounds pretty perfect to me. Looking forward to more about the books, loved your puzzles (puzzles and podcasts, what a good idea!) and adventures. Glad your covid was only mild, and that you are excited for the new year. Good luck for tomorrow, best wishes to Bryce, and hugs!

  4. Well, don't I feel like a slug when I see all you have accomplished! I think your middle blue car is so cute! And I'm glad it got you to and from your destination this summer.

  5. Sounds wonderful! hope you are feeling refreshed and energized!

  6. Hey Jess! Our summers were so similar! I read a dozen books, but all southern authors because we moved to TN. I only did 5 puzzles, and wish I had the Summer puzzle. And I bought a SUP and am loving it! But, I am a die-hard Broncos fan after 20 years in CO. Good luck on back to school exhaustion....this year took me a month to be normal again!!