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Summertime, and the living is easy… Or make that busy. Or maybe it’s busy with all the fun summer adventures and activities that seem to swallow up all the loose moments that might otherwise be spent writing blog posts!

Playing on the river, 4th of July weekend, with the extended family

Just realized a couple of days ago that I hadn’t flipped my office calendar to July – and here it is half over. We’ve yet to sort through the hundreds of photos from our oh-so-scenic Anniversary Vacation in June, over a hundred e-mails continue to linger in my in-box no matter how hard I try to get through them, and I just finally downloaded all the information and documents I need to get signed up for payment plans and loans for to pay for Rosie’s first year at Boston University.

Let’s face it. Who wants to sit behind a computer screen when the sun is shining, the garden is crying to be watered, and July’s flowers are waving to me from the window. It’s hard enough to spend my work hours in an office chair in such conditions, forget about spending my personal time that way.

And it finally dawned on me about a week ago:  I am temporarily no longer an empty-nester! Rosie’s home and since I was off gallivanting on summer adventures without her for most of June, these are my weeks to hang with her. Staying up late to chat, watching movies, going to the gym. These are precious moments, I know, and there’ll always be time to hang out alone with my computer once I’ve left her in her new dorm room 3,000 miles away.

All that said (in my usual long-winded way), I don’t want to abandon this blog just because my daughter is distracting me and the sun is shining more than usual on the North Coast. Considering just a series of vignettes or photos to document and preserve the highlights of Summer 2010:  More on our tour of Arches National park (definitely one of the highlights of our trip), our stay at the Gonzo Inn in nearby Moab (a romantic retreat following our flash flood adventure and yes, named for Hunter S. Thompson), our sunset boat ride up the river to view more rock formations, shared with movie star Daryl Hannah who was traveling incognito of course (we thought we were going to hear legends and stories from the indigenous peoples of the area, but instead were regaled with tales of how the white settlers were entrusted by God to care for this beautiful land – YUK),

A quick photo before reaching the timber line in Rocky Mountain National Park

driving the highest road in America through Rocky Mountain National Park (we could have spent a week just there, but alas it was just a few hours),

Strawberry Hot Springs

Strawberry Hot Springs near Steamboat, Colorado (too bad we chose Father’s Day to visit, it must be so incredible when it’s not packed with families), the long haul home across Utah and Nevada while listening to Amy Tan’s Saving Fish From Drowning, the final somewhat ill-fated night in Reno at The Atlantis high-rise casino hotel (our good friend found it on Priceline for $50, but it wasn’t worth the anxiety attack I had wandering through smoky casino land trying to find the restaurant).

And there’s a short review of a packed week of adventuring!

And then after just two days at home to sort through the mail, water the garden, catch up on work e-mails, we were off to the Kate Wolf Memorial Festival – one of our favorite events of every summer. We share a camp with friends and family and play, sing, swim and dance for three days. This year turned out to be especially fabulous as the full moon glowed for the whole weekend, the temps didn’t top about 90 degrees, and the music lineup continued to inspire us for the entire weekend – Baka Beyond, Po’ Girl, Hot Buttered Rum, David Grisman, Steve Earle, Ani Di Franco – they were all so on their game that weekend!

My only regret was that Rosie couldn’t accompany us because she was scheduled to work at the coffee shop.

Home for another few days and then off again for a sun-drenched holiday weekend on the Mad River. Kids, river, sun, feasting…  Life just doesn’t get much better.

Finally last weekend, our first at home in more than a month, we got a chance to clear the roses of morning glories,

Summer garden bounty - Yum!

harvest the vegetable bounty and put in some new broccoli and lettuce starts, buy a table for our new deck, put together our new gas grill (Tim’s father’s day present), and generally experience the joys of summertime at home.

Halfway into the 4-hour job of assembling grill.

Voila! Success!

Well, this has definitely been a “diary-post.” But at least I’m back on blog!