A weekend project

A weekend project

It was a beautiful weekend here in Va Beach, bright and sunny but not yet hot–perfect for getting a few things done out-of-doors.

First up on my list was our picnic table. We purchased it at a steal two years ago and let it age a bit. Last summer I purchased the supplies I would need to stain it a beautiful red color, but, alas, it never happened. I moved around that can of stain until I got sick of seeing it and eventually it disappeared.

So this weekend I hunted it down (in the back corner of the garage) and set to work. To my surprise, it didn’t take nearly as long as I anticipated.

First, I sanded the surfaces to smooth out the wood and get rid of dirt and other junk that had collected there. Then I wiped it down to remove the dust and pollen and it was ready to go.

It took two coats of stain/protector pretty easily, I just followed the instructions on the can. The first coast took a little longer as it soaked up a lot of the stain, the second went on in a matter of minutes.

Right now, it’s curing and I can’t wait to get a final shot of how it turns out. For now…

Picnic table before

Picnic table after

P.S. A tip that worked really well for us last year–place a few flattened carboard boxes on the ground beneath your picnic table and then mulch over them. They do a great job of keeping the weeds from growing and they will naturally decompose into your soil!

And to top off the day, we also picked up a few hundred feet of fencing from a neighbor replacing their pasture fences. I think this will come in handy some day…

Truck load of fencing

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fourth of July is my second favorite holiday of the entire year (behind Christmas, of course, I am a little Christmas crazy after all).

I guess it’s kind of a strange holiday to call your favorite–most people like Thanksgiving, or Memorial Day or even Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Halloween. Not me. Fourth of July is where it’s at!

fireworks

I think there are a few reasons for my undying love of the Fourth. The fact that my birthday conveniently falls on the fifth is probably not the least of them. And, of course, the Fourth usually brings a good dose of family time, and you know I love my family. It’s usually sunny and bright (and hot) and the best day of the year to spend outside, searching for four-leaf clovers in the backyard, catching butterflies, or jumping through the sprinkler. It’s even a good excuse for bringing out the slip-n-slide (or at least it was when I was a kid).

And then there are the fireworks. Oh, the fireworks. Really, I can’t begin to express how much I love those magical, wonderful sparkles in the sky.

My memories of the Fourth are a dazzling array of vivid pictures best summed up in a single word–magical. They are memories of picnics and sparklers and brothers and just plain wonderment.

Fourth of July as a child.
Fourth of July picnic when I was a child.

Of course, over time things change. A few years back I began taking my nieces to the fireworks. I loved sharing the awe and inspiration with them, even if they were small enough to be afraid of the noise–I just covered their ears with my hands and held them close in my lap.

Holding my niece.

Now that I’m in Virginia, Husband and I joined his family (or maybe they joined us?) at a local park for fireworks. We brought chairs and picnic blankets and spread out on the grass. Husband fell asleep as we listened to a live band play patriotic music before the big show.

You see, magical isn’t something you have to grow out of. It’s just something that evolves with you.

This year we’re going again, for the sights, sounds, and smells of summer. We’re going to drink in the being part of summer and let go of the doing part. We’re going to spread out a blanket and lay on our backs and just enjoy the moment.

And it’s going to be magical.

fireworks

Dear Monday…

Dear Monday…

Dear Monday,
Dawn came early and cool today. It doesn’t feel like June at all, but I suppose it just gives a little refreshing variety to life here in Virginia Beach.

Dear Norfolk Botanical Garden,
Thank you for lending us a shady spot of grass for our Sunday afternoon picnic. You couldn’t have been more hospitable.

Picnic at Botanical Gardens

Picnicking with friends.

Dear Little Nephew,
I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the moment you join the world tomorrow. You are precious and loved, little one.

Dear Husband,
I cherished having a whole day with you yesterday… I wish those weren’t so few and far between. I know this is a stage of life that we are going through–one that includes a lot of long hours and little rest. But thanks for giving me priority on Sunday as we rest and spend time with each other and with our Lord.

Me and Husband.

Dear Friends,
Husband and I know without a doubt that we are called to offer our hospitality to our friends and family, especially those in need of respite. We were so honored to be able to offer you a little peace and serenity, even if the weekend was all too brief. We truly hope you will come back again when you need a little more refreshing.

Sincerely,
Holly


Linking up with Happy Day.