Concert in the Park

Even though I played with the Litchfield Town Band briefly during the mid-90’s, I was still surprised to witness the pride of this little town in their concert band. All summer, on Friday evenings, the town band assembles in the gazebo to play marches and polkas and other traditional crowd favorites.

When my son and I went to visit my Mom at the end of July, a good number of her friends were looking forward to pulling out some chairs and listening to the music. Having been a music major in a former life, I could tell that it wasn’t exactly professional-sounding, but it wasn’t totally cringey, either. It was enjoyable in that live-music-outside sort of way.

Except to one nine-year-old boy who’d already had a long day. To him, it was “boring,” and he just wanted to go back to Grammy’s house and relax.

Grammy’s Mini-Me in Medina

Connor and I took a long weekend at the end of July to go visit my mom in Medina County, Ohio. Of course, I had to get a photo of my son in front of the iconic gazebo in Medina Square.

His Dad and I had collaborated to make him a mixtape (yes, an actual cassette tape that he played in an actual Sony Walkman) that included his favorite techno/electronic and video game music, and he listened to it nonstop. Hence the headphones.

I just got the film developed (yes, actual 35mm film) and was struck by how much my son looks like my mother.

Switching Things Up

August 2021 will be remembered in our home as the month that Dad moved to a different shift at work.

Spoiler: It didn’t agree with him, and he’s now back on his regular evening/night shift.

It was fun and different, though, and if there had been less workplace shenanigans involved, it might have been a good fit… eventually.

Things that were definitely on the positive side of the equation (from my point of view):

  • Not having to worry about waking Dad up in the mornings (because he left for work at 3:00am)
  • Choosing my daily outfit in the morning instead of the night before
  • Having Dad home for dinner and bedtime every night (not just on his days off)
  • Saturday morning garage sales!
  • Grocery shopping before lunch on Sundays instead of in the afternoon

There were an abundance of downsides, though, not the least of which being that Dad was basically jet-lagged for a few weeks in a row.

I think everyone involved will be glad for our routine to return to normal… including the next guy in line for the job.


Making notebooks has been my jam lately.

This green one was my experimental Frankenbook — I drew a butterfly and screenprinted it onto the cover fabric months ago, then experimented with my Cricut on the back cover. (The die-cut sunflower keyhole was not the original plan, but I ran with it.)

I glued some sunflower fabric to the inside of the cover in lieu of endpapers. The four signatures I attached to the cover by stitching rather than glue, which was only the second time I’ve tried that technique (although I think it’s now my favorite).

My Frankenbook turned out much better than I’d expected, and the process was just as valuable as I’d hoped.

Meanwhile, the spiral-bound notebook I’d been using as a work planner was getting dangerously close to full. So, I planned out a replacement work notebook: legal size paper folded in half, with binding that opens flat, and a place to keep a pen.

During the planning process, I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole of paper marbling, and I decided that I needed to incorporate some green marbled paper in my new work planner. The cover I crafted from heavy chipboard covered with self-adhesive wallpaper from Amazon (which looks and feels suspiciously like fancy contact paper). The textblock I attached to the spine by the first and the last signatures, so it still lays flat.

As an upcycle project, I disassembled an old, half-used spiral-bound from back in college, then cut and punched new chipboard covers for front and back. I did some watercolor doodles on the inside front cover, debossed a nature quote on an old calendar photo page I’d saved, then glued that onto the front before feeding the spiral wire back through. Someday, this will probably be another of my gardening journals.

Making books is hella fun.