When you see the back to school displays in the stores, you know that summer is half way over. Or you realize that retailers are an overzealous lot. Stores are filled with big yellow displays full of pencils, pens, pads, protractors, small refrigerators and computers. Almost anything in a store can be considered a back-to-school supply, especially when you take college kids into account.
I love this time of the year! It’s so exciting and even if your student isn’t too thrilled with the thought of inking Shakespearean quotes into their composition notebooks, or pondering the Pythagorean Theorem in their Trapper Keepers, they still want you to buy them all the cool stuff for school.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for school supply shopping. Back then, there weren’t a lot of displays to poke through, or eye-catching bins right as you walk in the door to trip over, but I still loved walking down the office supply aisle at Zayre (that’s an old name for you) or Kmart, being so careful to pick out the coolest pen (Papermate, blue) or pencil (Huskies), college-ruled paper, and the biggest, fanciest Trapper Keeper that was made. Even then, I had an obsession with keeping things organized.
Now, when I walk into a store with my 15 year old, I am absolutely astounded at what is available for kids to take to school. And frankly, I am smitten with the fact that schools send around to the retailers what they require for the kids to have on the first day. That’s such a brilliant idea. Granted, I usually have to take out a small loan on the house every July just to outfit him for school, between clothes, shoes, accessories and of course supplies, but I’m just as excited about it as he is!
Locker mirrors and organizers, book jackets in bright colors and patterns (I used brown paper bags from the grocery store…not fair), backpacks with shoulder pads…the list just goes on. I think this time however, I’m going to pick up some cool supplies for myself as well! Happy shopping!
Invitations are sent out (via letter, email, text, Twitter, or Facebook), food is purchased, adult and not-so-adult beverages are bought, music playlists are created, and the grill is primed and ready. It’s the last big party of the summer, and you are prepared. Or not.
The doubts creep in…is the pool clean? Did we spray for ants? Did we clean up after the last party (very important question!)? All in all though, this should be a great party.
We usually go on vacation right before summer ends, and typically we rent a condo or a cabin, depending on where we go. We always have a get together a day or two before we leave, because we usually vacation near family and friends. And those family and friends live by major tourist areas, so it’s an exercise in precise planning to make sure we can get everything we need without fists flying at the local Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Things can get dangerous if two people are lunging for the last pack of hamburger meat or the last three decent tomatoes. When people are stocking up on paper plates, cups, citronella, accessories and everything else that goes along with a party, things get serious!
Here’s a question to ponder. Why is it, when we know the holiday is coming up, do we wait until the LAST MINUTE to go to the store to buy what we knew two weeks ago that we needed? We’re getting close to Labor Day, I should conceivably be picking things up here and there for our BBQ that we’re having but have I? Nope.
Buns can be purchased and frozen, meat ditto, drinks bought, chips bought (with very strict instructions to the house denizens NOT to touch), etc, but I haven’t done any of that. Gee…I never realized what a procrastinator I was!
Whatever the case may be, enjoy the party, lift a drink in a heartfelt toast, don’t get too drenched by all the watery cannonballs being executed, and eat way too much!
A few blogs back, I extolled the virtues and myriad uses of Windex. It’s just one of my favorite cleaners, what can I say? Around this time of year, however, I do a mid-summer clean. It’s halfway between spring cleaning and holiday cleaning, and it’s a massive undertaking. I bring out some of the big dogs of the cleaning world. Mr. Clean, Tide, Comet, Spic and Span…these are my weapons of mass cleaning. I put on some music and get to work!
All surfaces get wiped down with a one-two punch of Spic and Span and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, the tubs, toilets, and sinks get a Comet scrub down, and the floors get a little help from an unusual source- Tide. Yep, Tide. It’s not just for laundry anymore. This stuff powers through grease and grime like you wouldn’t believe. Not that my floors are abnormally greasy or grimy, but we do have a deep fryer. Granted, you have to buy the stuff that is formulated for floors, not laundry, but it’s worth it.
We have stainless steel appliances, and fingerprints and dog nose-marks build up if I don’t swipe them down once a day (which I don’t. Don’t judge me.), so I need something with cleaning power that won’t scratch and dull the surface so I use a bit of Dawn diluted with water (like you would in your sink for those of you that still hand wash dishes) and my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This is for the heavy buildup. When I feel really ambitious on the weekends, I clean the appliances with Windex and then take a dry, soft cloth, put a few drops of baby oil on it, and wipe them down. Works like a charm!