What I’m doing on my summer vacation
I’m on holiday this week! No, I’m not going anywhere. And anyone who calls it a “staycation” can expect a smack upside the head. “Staycation.” Everyone knows “staycation” only means “I can’t afford a real vacation.” And you know what? I can’t. I’m good with that. My friends and neighbours may go jetting off hither and yon. I don’t. It’s a reality of my life which I have accepted with grace… and without cutesy-stupid euphemisms.
“Staycation.” Pfft. Such a weaselly word, a word for cowards. Be brave! Be bold! OWN your poverty!!!
“So it’s a staycation, huh?”
“No, I’m just staying home this week.”
Now, I am a very experience home holiday-er. Because I’ve done this for years and years, I have developed patterns. I’ve discovered I need a balance of play, inertia, creativity and productivity to keep me happy. “Productivity” boils down to “work”. Yes, indeed. I must work during my holiday, otherwise, on the final Sunday afternoon, as I’m facing down Monday morning, I get depressed. “I didn’t MAKE USE of my time! I accomplished NOTHING! My time off was a WASTE!!!”
Yup. I have to “accomplish” stuff on my holiday. I’m not quite sure where I got my work ethic. Lord knows there are no “Type A’s” in my family. Truth be known, most days my work ethic is pretty damned lackadaisical, but for whatever reason it emerges with an ironical vengeance during holiday-times, and it seems I’m stuck with it.
So, while I hit the library for books, and socialize more than normal, and indulge in manicures and pedicures (the home variety), and putz around on the Internet (even MORE THAN USUAL! I KNOW!!!), I also have projects. I GET STUFF DONE. Stuff that is difficult to do with a houseful of toddlers.
This summer’s project list includes:
– paint the attic
– re-paint kitchen cupboards
– remove 50 pounds of weeks from front garden
– finish sewing the purse I started six months ago
– finish the northwest corner of the back yard play area
– organize my craft room
As I close in on the half-way point of my holiday, I am about half through that list. Not too shabby!
(Lest you all be worried for my sanity, I will assure you that I’ve played this week, too, and have enjoyed a few blissful hours of plain old inertia. My plans for later this week include a trip to the library, to stock up on all the books I plan to read next week. My plans for next week include much reading on the porch while sipped tea or wine, depending on the time of day.)
However, THIS week has been all about the productivity. All that physical labour needs to be interspersed with less demanding productivity, though, and it was the most recent issue of Cook’s magazine that provided the inspiration. Muffins! I will make muffins! Not just any muffins, though! I would purchase a so-cool muffin-top tin, and make muffin TOPS.
Neat idea, huh? Emma was delighted. “Everyone knows that the tops are the best part of the muffin!” I wandered to our local cute-and-fun shopping area (the one that’s being torn up to bits), and located myself a muffin-top pan, brought it home, whipped up a batch of apple-oatmeal batter, and waited for our six delectable muffin tops to emerge.
And when the timer pinged? Out from the oven came six large, wide, flat disks. There was no mounding of the top. There was no crispy outer crust. Booooo… The explanation was sitting on the counter. The can of baking powder. The unopened can of baking powder.
They taste all right, these disks of muffin. But, “I wanted muffin tops,” I whine to Emma, “and instead I’ve made these… muffin cookies.”
Emma chews thoughtfully. “You know what you’ve done, mum?”
“You’ve made muffin BOTTOMS!”
She’s right. A magazine of expert advice, a shopping trip, a brand-spanking-new muffin-top pan, and, because of a teaspoon of oversight, I’ve made muffin BOTTOMS.
Guess I’ll stick with the painting for now…