It finally feels like summer. It felt like the hot-one-day, cold-one-day spring was never going to end – but now it’s sufficiently muggy and warm enough for shorts every day. I only have a week and a half left of my real work schedule and then I’m cruising through summer almost jobless – by choice. My nanny families only needed me to summer, since they’re professors and are home in the summer, and their kids will all be going to daycare/pre-school in the fall. So I knew all along that I would be cut loose in the summer and saved up enough that I wouldn’t need to find a job until the fall. Ultimately one family ended up still wanted some part-time hours through summer, so I’ll be helping them out 12 hours a week. I’m stoked to make enough money to cover rent every month but have most of my time free to enjoy summer. It’ll take some of the urgency off of needing to find a job when I decide to. It ended up being a pretty perfect scenario.
I’ve been enjoying a little more free time to hang out outside, work on commissions, and make summery meals using things from our CSA. Aside from all the other benefits of getting a CSA each summer, one of my favorites is having to use up weird vegetables I wouldn’t normally buy, forcing me to try new things and shake it up a little. Like rhubarbs, which we’ve gotten in both of our first CSA shares so far.
A visit from Mikey one night in my studio when I was finishing up a project.
A leisurely start to my work day one morning, before Luc’s parents and his older sister Catherine left for school.
Eddie getting dropped off at Luc’s in the morning by his dad.
All the kids having fun together.
Luc and Catherine’s dad doling out the sunblock.
These are what all the picturesque moments of my worklife look like! Whenever I post a lot of nanny photos, I have to add: I obviously don’t photograph the meltdowns, the diaper explosions, the exhaustion of juggling lunch routines for two kids (surprisingly much harder than it would seem), and the feeling of frustration listening to a kid crying/playing in their crib instead of getting to sleep for their nap. People tell me all the time how fun/easy my job looks and I know it’s mostly my fault for just showing the best parts. This stuff is tiring! But is equal parts rewarding. Here’s Eddie’s mom coming for pickup at the end of the day.
On Thursday night, Mikey had a show at Golden Tea House with a bunch of other cool bands. All the bands were releasing tapes. This is Marge, one of my favorite Philly bands right now. They actually formed during a big event we put on last fall called First Time’s The Charm, which featured only brand new bands, all of which had at least one member who had never played in a band before. It’s really cool to see that a band that came out of that event has gone on to be one of my favorite current bands in the city.
Mikey played a solo set after that. He started going by The Goodbye Party for his solo project and just collected all of his old recordings onto one tape, and was also releasing a split tape with Spoonboy, a friend from DC.
I didn’t get a photo of the other bands for some reason. I don’t like to take too many photos at shows. Not my thing.
Spoonboy and a band from the UK called Colour Me Wednesday crashed at our house after the show. This was what I came down to in the morning.
That Friday I had planned a big outing for a playdate with my nanny friend Amanda, and her little bud Lee. Eddie and Lee have played twice before and got along so well. They immediately became besties. After spending my first 30-40 minutes of my day getting him all ready to go and packing up a bag of stuff, Eddie started falling asleep standing up, so I just asked if he wanted to lay down on the couch and he passed right out. So much for a playdate! You can only plan so much with little kids. If you’re adamant about doing things your way, you’ll be a pretty frustrated caretaker.
But it was cool. When he woke up, we spent 3 hours at the park enjoying the most beautiful weather ever. Eddie really liked watching the dogs run around in the dog bowl.
When I got home, a friend from across the street, Ariel, planned to come over to try to introduce her dog Nala to Rover. Nala is dog aggressive and Ariel is working to try to socialize him. Rover is pretty chill so we thought we would give it a shot trying to introduce them through our fence.
It was going well, on and off. Nala and Rover started out great, just sniffing each other excitedly through the fence. But Nala would react here and there and have to be pulled away. One of those times, she was able to nip him through the fence and he got a little tear in his ear. He didn’t even seem to notice and continued to want to try to hang with her, but she was getting too worked up so we called it a night.
Because it was a cut on his ear, it bled a lotttttt and his white coat made it look like a disaster. But really it was just a small cut that had trouble clotting. He was chipper throughout, and by the next night it was mostly done bleeding everywhere. Hopefully we can try to introduce them again in the future. It may be hard to imagine, but Rover used to be extremely dog aggressive and I had to go through the same trial and error process of trying to socialize him. It took 3-4 years before he was really okay with being around other dogs 100% of the time, and at the time I thought he would just never get better. But he’s a totally reformed little dude and I’m really glad I stuck with it. So despite a little cut, I was happy to try to help Ariel out because I’ve been there and know how frustrating and scary and embarrassing it can be to have a reactive dog. It’s a tough thing to work through.
The rest of the night, everyone in my house was pretty tired and didn’t feel like doing much, and our friend Cynthia had stopped by and was feeling the same. So we just decided to lay low and watch a movie.
For some reason, we watched Grease – and we all sang along. I fell asleep toward the end but it was fun while I was awake.
In the morning, I had donuts on the brain, so my roommate Guy and I went to get donuts at Federal. They never disappoint. I originally planned to go try a Dotties Donut at Milk and Honey because friends of friends make them and are trying to start catering – but once I learned that they were raised donuts instead of cake donuts I decided I really just wanted one from Federal. I just like cake donuts better. I know I’ll get one from Dotties eventually and they’ll be delicious.
Guy! He’s going to be moving to Chicago at the end of summer and we will be a totally different house without him.
I spent the rest of the day drawing and watching Orange is the New Black in my studio. Mikey was out of town all weekend for some shows and his mom’s birthday, so I tried to catch up on solo work time while he was gone. He’s an easy distraction when I’m looking for ways to procrastinate so I vowed to get a lot done while he was gone. It only worked so-so. At night, I rode my bike over to Golden Tea House to see Delay and Martha. Seeing Delay always brings me right back to my days in Baltimore because that’s when I met them and would see them play all the time. It was a fun show.
My roommate Sam and I left early because we hadn’t eaten dinner yet and it was already really late. We planned to try to go some place at least marginally healthy, but got out of the show too late and everything except for pizza and chinese food were closed. So we just went to China House, right near where we live. We took it home and ate on the couch while watching Orange is the New Black. We had both been watching it throughout the day in our own rooms, haha.
A Sunday morning PA handoff. One of the projects that started during my photoblogging absence was the launch of a PA Share program through DIYPHL (which is just me, Mikey, and was our friend Grace, but she’s moving next month so now it’s just the two of us). With the money made from the First Time’s The Charm show that I mentioned above, we bought a really loud PA system to be loaned out for events with a member-based system, just like a car share. It’s been running really smoothly so far, with only one blown speaker, and a few broken mic stands. Membership is $10 for the whole year, a nominal fee so that we have a way to generate a little money for repairs. Then you can submit a request form for the PA on the date you need it, and we reserve the date for you on a public calendar. People come pick up and drop off the PA at our house the day before and after their event. So far it’s working really well and people have been treating it with a lot of care and respect. The only marginally annoying thing is having to be at our house a lot for pickups and drop-offs, but it’s worked out pretty well regardless. The PA has been at 37 shows/events in the past 3 months that it’s been active!
After the PA was received, and we bought picnic supplies, my whole house (minus Mikey, who was still out of town), headed out to the Pine Barrens in NJ for a swimming day.
The Pine Barrens are about an hour away. After you get to the parking spot, you walk for about a mile down this path. The walk is always longer than I remember.
Then you arrive at the best swimming hole.
We packed a lunch of seltzer, homemade caprese sandwiches, chips, and fruit salad. The few other times we had been, last summer, we never brought food and always wished we had.
The water was the perfect temperature. These photos really show how bad I am at photo editing. Purple sky. Whoops!
Laura and Sam were trying to do some Dirty Dancing style jumps and lifts.
but it was a totally failed effort.
Guy tried and also failed.
Tiff in the water
Sam didn’t have a swim suit…
After the Bluehole, we decided to go to the Pop Shop in Collingswood on the way home.
The Pop Shop is a pretty ridiculous, bubble gummy diner with a huge menu of junk food – a big grilled cheese section, loaded fries, a huge dessert and milkshake menu, etc.
Delicious and disgusting all at once.
We over ate and then called it a night.