School finally finished up last week; I feel like I took my time storing my things this year, in the hopes that the new year will be less stressful and more organized. I also brought home some of my unit plan binders, so that I can plot out what I'd like to do while I have more time to think. Of course, I always think I'll do this, but this summer my situation really is different, so I'm hopeful.
Meanwhile, I've been doing some yard work. It turns out that I actually love weeding; I think it's very meditative and therapeutic, but I also love how visible and immediate the results are. That being said, I also am trying to minimize the amount of upkeep I need to do, so I changed this little area last week. The space at the front left of the photo is a little extension of the large flower bed; it was a little section of weedy grass that I turned into a bed a few years ago, but the gate caught on the edging every time I opened it. Instead of weeding and mulching it yet again, I dug an inch or two down to remove all the weed/grass roots, poured a layer of sand, and then used river rocks as edging and hardscape. I liked it so much, I decided to do the same with the strip of unnecessary grass along the deck, the length of the driveway strips. I plan to continue to add and widen so that the area to the garage door, just to the right of the picture, is done this way, but as it's a bit pricey, I'm taking my time with it. I really like it though.
Surprisingly, I haven't been to the beach much at all. This picture was taken before the last week of school, and it's the last time I was there. Of course, it's probably the last nice day we've had, as it seems like every day is cloudy and/or rainy.
Gracie has begun begging for belly rubs, by throwing herself on any available rug. This one is in the bathroom, and this picture reminds me that replacing the ugly linoleum is another home improvement project I'd like to do this summer.