Jul. 31: July in review

july2012Time to summarize July at the Manullangs’ house.

Special days I celebrated this month and how:

  • Independence Day. Quiet-ish celebration at home but-cept for a little bit of blowin’ shit up after dark.
  • Relay for Life 2012!
  • Darlene’s and Alec’s birthdays. The fam gathered at Darlene and Wellington’s. Fun was had by all, especially those who ate that cake Sonya brought.
  • Victor turned older on July 29. We didn’t do a whole lot, but in two years: WATCH OUT. Big celebration for the elderly guy in my house!

Books I read this month:

  • One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd, by Jim Fergus. I loved this story, loved the white woman’s view of the blending of cultures.
  • I started reading several books that I didn’t finish, either because they were totally uninteresting or simply not my thing. What a waste of time with those. Ugh.
  • We met Carlos Ruiz Zafon, author of The Shadow of the Wind, at Powell’s last week and I bought his latest book (The Prisoner of Heaven) and the one before it, The Angel’s Game. They are all part of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. So excited to go back to that place! He’s a very talented storyteller.

Movies and TV shows worth mentioning:

  • I’ve been watching a little Olympics, but otherwise not much interests me on TV these days.
  • I finally got the second season of Samantha Who? on DVD. I really loved that show. So much.
  • Mirror Mirror. Cute-sy cute.
  • It was neither a movie nor a TV show, but we saw Jersey Boys on its stop in Portland last week. I made the mistake of not checking the appropriateness of the show for 10-year-olds, and Jack heard more profanity in three hours than he’s heard in his whole life. Oops. Heh heh.

New recipes or restaurants we tried:

  • No new restaurants; just returned to some of our favorites.
  • No new recipes, either. Jack and I baked cookies today and I was instantly reminded of why I hate baking cookies. An all-day summer project involving constant use of the oven? No thanks. Come talk to me when you have a Popsicle in your hand.

Special or unusual purchases we made:

  • Guitar strings to replace the ones that kept snapping on Katie’s new guitar.
  • I floated again. Got kinda bored this time.
  • I bought a LOT of polished river rocks so I could make one of these:


This month’s disappointments:

  • That guitar string problem.
  • Vic’s stay-cation. (I hate that word so much. No, I resent that word so much. We needed to get o-u-t of here.) It was nice having him home for a week, though.
  • Football camps and practices started. Sorry, Jill, but for me, it super-sucks.

My accomplishments:

  • I almost have all the glue off me after making the river rock doormat. For a couple days, I felt like Clark Griswold in this scene from Christmas Vacation:


  • We got a good report from the oncologist on my 18-month post-treatment tests. I don’t think anything I did had anything to do with that happening, so to call it an accomplishment is awfully generous. Let’s just say it happened and it was a good thing. There.
  • We organized our garage and took loads of stuff to Goodwill. Related: someone stole our stove—but it was our old one, so we didn’t care. Related: we got Katie to give up a bunch of stuff (though you’d never know it by looking at her room) for the neighbors’ garage sale. Related: I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. And cleaned. I also cleaned.
  • Another Pinterest-inspired project: these planners. The glass in the frames (I used two of these) makes a good dry-erase surface, and the scrapbook paper inside serves as separator between days. Every week I change the headings and write in the upcoming week’s stuff. These hang in the kitchen where everyone in the family can see them and now they are no longer allowed to yell at me for not telling them what’s going on. It’s working well so far.


  • I got  my new laptop set up with minimum difficulty, and now I hardly even notice that it’s a different one. Whew. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still bitter that I had to buy a new one.
  • I didn’t kill anyone, even though several people who crossed my path TOTALLY asked for it.

Anything else noteworthy:

  • Pamela Ribon’s newest book, You Take it From Here, came out on July 3. My name is in it. I’m way more proud of that than I deserve to be. Acknowledgement or not, I loved the book and encourage all y’all to buy it.
  • We got to hang with the Fukais for the first time in way too long. Val and I caught up on People magazine news, Vic and Chris enjoyed their new fire pit, Jack dressed up in a skirt with a parasol, and Katie got schooled by Val in a Nerf gun fight (followed by Val shooting herself in the face).

nerf guns

  • We met up with Debi and Greg while they were in Portland last weekend. Greg got a new dress! Yes, some might call it a kilt, but I called it a dress. In Portland, he was not even given a second glance because in Portland, guys in kilts aren’t even a little bit unusual. Portland is so weird and awesome. Debi and Greg aren’t so bad either.
  • OMG, OMG, OMG! Snoop Dogg changed his name. That’s noteworthy, right? Yahoo News thought so and put it all big and headline-like on my page. Yay???

Bring it, August. I’m ready for ya.



  1. You had to know you'd draw a comment from me with your "all-day" baking adventure. All day? What kind of cookies did you make that took ALL DAY? Or was that just creative license, and baking with Jack felt like all day?

    Other than that, sounds about like a July. Fun stuff, regular stuff, and YEAH for the 18-month check up! Double YEAH.


  2. OK, maybe "all day" was generous, but baking cookies takes too dang long!


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