June 17
    Happy Fathers' Day!  I hope everyone is able to spend the day with and enjoying family.  We are a bit scattered these days with Matt in Pittsburgh, but he called Tim bright and early this morning

before he went to work.  Megan spent the night at a friend's, but has popped in to wish her dad a happy day before heading out for a walk with the same friend.  I am working on a barbeque dinner for later on (cooked on the grill that was Tim's present bought a few weeks ago) and have invited my mom and John.  Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and the thunderstorms will hold off or miss us all together.
    This was my first week of summer vacation and Tim took a week of his vacation, so we have been busy getting to all those things around here that have been on hold.  Megan had a girlfriend staying here for most of the week, which meant she wasn't any help to us, but she also wasn't under foot whining about being bored, either, so it kind of evened out.  We like her friend, Holly, a lot, too.  She fits right into the family and by the second day was calling us Mom and Dad.  We discovered that her mom took care of my Nana in the small personal care home she was in the last couple years of her life, so Holly has a little bit of an extra special place in our hearts.
    Tim has gotten a lot done.  He spent the first four days or so cleaning out the sheds and his workshop so he could find what he'd need and have room to work.  Once that was done, he went to work on the shadynook I'd asked him to build near the firepit.  Shadynook is a word I borrowed from my Nana.  She had one in her backyard for my whole life and it was my favorite spot.  Hers was nothing more than a tin roof on four log poles.  The floor was made of recycled bricks.  It sat against the fence row and was surrounded on three sides by roses, lilacs and other flowers and shrubs.  A huge old black walnut tree towered over it.  So, it was a shady spot and a cozy little nook to get away from the world.  There was a simple charm to it. 
    The one Tim is building is a long way from that simple shelter, but it will be enjoyed no less, I am sure.  Tim approached it like any construction project and I am sure my shadynook is solid enough to withstand just about anything Mother Nature can dish out.  It is attached to one side of the shed to give it a wall and it's made of pressure treated lumber firmly screwed together.  The roof is plywood on rafters with another layer of plywood underneath.  The roof will be shingled.  There are support blocks for the swing so the shadynook won't sway at all with the motion like my mom's does (I'm not the only one in the family to carry on the shadynook tradition).  The floor will be concrete or pressure treated plywood covered with astroturf.  Tim hasn't decided.  It is lovely and exceptionally sturdy, but my main concern is the charm and it will have that when all is said and done.  It is right near the firepit and pool, there will be a pad for the grill, the swing is there and there is plenty of room for a table and some chairs.  The pond kit I bought will look nice just off the corner opposite the firepit.  Tim is putting a couple of outlets in the wall in case we ever want to plug anything in out there.  I can't think of a thing I'd want to plug in except maybe a string of old-fashioned patio lights.  I love the soft glowing colors they threw and have been searching for several years for a set that uses bigger bulbs than the lights made now.  Anyway, we are both looking forward to having the whole family here for the Fourth.
    We also got the pool opened up this week.  There was a crack in the filter case when we got it out so we had to hunt for a new one.  The manufacturer has changed the style so it took some searching and then the price!  We've decided that pool parts are a racket.  The parts are ridiculously expensive....the three parts that we ended up having to buy before we were done cost over $250.  A whole new filter and pump is only $499!  It sure seems like they want to encourage you to just buy the whole new thing.  It took us all day on Friday, but we got the darn thing drained, cleaned and refilled and the pump works....better than it ever did, thank you.  We took someone's advice and put the solar cover on as soon as there were a couple of inches of water in the bottom.  The reasoning being that it would help warm the water as the pool filled.  I don't know that it helped.  It didn't hurt, but the water is still only about 69 degrees.  We need a few good hot, sunny days.  It's hot today, but no sun.
    My big project for the week was taking back Matt's room.  Since he and Ashlei just moved into their own apartment it's pretty clear he won't be living here any time soon.  His room, though, was still at a point where you could barely get in the door.  I'd asked him and Ashlei the last few times they were home to pack stuff up so we could put it in storage.  The room is still there, but our house is small enough I really need to be able to use that space.  They kept saying okay and the last time they were home they did take a lot of stuff back with them, but when I looked it was still a mess.  I went in there this week and packed stuff up, threw stuff out (I don't think they ever threw out their garbage) and washed all the laundry I found stuffed in odd places.  Then I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned.  I moved one bookshelf in there and bought another to hold all my books.  There's a single bed, a desk, a rocking chair, a desk, and plenty of storage.  I love it.  It's a great spot to get away to read or work on crafts and the doggies love having another room.  Scooby curls up on the bed and Elvis crawls underneath with just his nose and paws sticking out.
    We haven't gone anywhere this week, but we've enjoyed ourselves.  It was just nice having Tim home.  We've cooked out a good bit and one night we had a fire in the pit for the girls.  We roasted hotdogs and made mountain pies and s'mores.  Mom and John came down and Megan had a couple of other friends over.  It was a lot of fun.  Tim even lived through the next phase of Megan's growing up.  I was real proud of him when he didn't freak out when some boys the girls know from school showed up.  I know he was wanting to go in and get the shotgun or lay down and have a seizure, but he didn't.  Pretty good from the guy who says Megan can date when a) she's 60 or b) he's dead.  He wasn't smiling though.  When those farm boys roared up in their big old trucks I am sure they reminded him a lot of himself at that age......and he knows what he was like.
    Well, I have to get back to working on dinner so will wrap this up.  Have a great week!