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Blog — "summer"

Summer Solstice

Heidi Shenk "daily life" "Lilah" "summer"

On this first day of summer, I can truly say that it feels as though the season has arrived. The menu sitting on our kitchen counter for this week's meal consisted of mostly grilled dishes. The flowers in our patio have grown from small sprouts to lush blooms. Summer cocktails or an evening beer have replaced glasses of red wine. And Lilah has assumed her favorite position atop the stairs leading from our deck to the patio.

Our summer evenings are our favorite. Dinners eaten on the patio. Baseball games listened to on our roof deck with a refreshing beer in hand. And maybe a bowl of ice cream for dessert. Not a whole lot needs to be done or said, but relaxing and enjoying the moment takes presidence instead.

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Baltimore Police Helicopters are Creepy

Heidi Shenk "Baltimore" "summer"

First things first. Thank you all for your wonderful blog comments, tweets, and instagram comments about my sun addiction. It has confirmed that I am in fact a sun addict and may be the only person on this planet that uses SPF 4. Oh, except for my sister who commented on this instagram photo saying "I love that stuff!" Hmm. Go figure. As I said before, this is clearly a hereditary problem.

Second of all, back to the post for the day. Yes. The title tells all. The other day while I was partaking in my sun addiction on my roof deck, I had quite an interesting incident occur. One of the Baltimore Police helicopters flew by my deck, lowered its altitude, and changed its flight course to a perfect circle around the perimeter of my roof deck. It circled twice and then sped off. Twenty minutes later, the same exact thing happened.

Now I'm pretty sure that they should have been spending their time chasing down pot dealers or scoping out people that were breaking into houses rather than circling around my roof deck. At the same time, I can see how they might have thought I was doing one of two or both of those illegal activities. I mean, what pot dealer or burglar doesn't do those things in a light pink strapless bikini while laying on some swanky patio furniture. I was clearly a menace to society and needed to be checked out. Or maybe there really was a pot dealer or burglar right by my house and they were trying to protect me, but I sort of highly doubt that.

You may have seen my tweets about the incidents.
I even @BaltimorePolice'd those tweets. I thought surely that would let someone know of this ridiculous behavior. For all of the "Shooting on blah blah blah street" and "Gun arrest on blah blah blah block" tweets that I put up with from @BaltimorePolice, I felt sure that they would be willing to put up with my two tweets about me feeling violated by their helicopter cops. But no response.

After writing about my outrage on my personal facebook page, my aunt suggested that I make a really big sign on a poster board to put up there while I am suntanning. Quite frankly, I like her idea. And that is where you, my readers, come in. I need some help brainstorming.

What would you write on a sign to some rude helicopter cops that are trying to spy on you suntanning? Leave comments with your ideas and I'll choose at least one to use. The peep show attitude has got to stop!

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I May Have a Problem

Heidi Shenk "summer"

I'm not going to lie, I think I may have a serious problem. Hi, I'm Heidi, and I have a serious issue with the sun. This is a long time thing, not something that has turned up overnight or in the past year or so. This may possibly be a genetic thing inherited from my mother. It is the problem of burning your butt.

It stems from many summers going to Lake Michigan for some beach time with my mom and sister. It also is harvested in the 14 summers spent camping on Lake Superior in Ontario at Pancake Bay. (Seriously, even if you are not the camping type, just suck it up and go camping there for a week sometime in your life and you will thank me. Most peaceful, gorgeous, and uncrowded beach on this earth.)
 See, I would not lie. Even Lilah loves camping there.
Anyway, I got a little off track with my Pancake Bay sales pitch, which probably wasn't a good idea because now all of you will flock there and it will no longer be peaceful and uncrowded. Back to the original issue at hand.

This is what happens. You go to the beach with your mom. You are determined to work on that nice suntan. It is a bit cloudy in the morning when you set up your spot on the beach so you say to each other, "I'm going to wait a bit and then I'll put my sunscreen on." Then about half an hour later, you say to each other, "Okay, we should probably put on some sunscreen." And by this, I mean you must bust out the SPF 4. Many of you may question this and ask yourselves, you mean they make SPF 4?

It doesn't end there, my friends. About an hour and a half later it is time to get out of the sun for some lunch. You admire how tan you are looking, but you clearly both agree that you could get a bit darker. So for safety's sake, you say to each other, "I think we should go back to the beach yet this afternoon, but maybe we should use SPF 8 this time." See how we did that? We were ratcheting up the SPF from 4 to 8. Brilliant plan!

Oh yes, this is true. This is exactly how it goes down every single time. And when you return from a late afternoon suntanning session on the beach, you tell each other, "No, you don't look red at all. You look tan." As you cook dinner, lounge around the campsite (or lounge around the house as it is after returning from a Lake Michigan outing) you don't think about your relaxation in the sun one bit.

Five hours later as you move in some strange position in a chair, it hits you. You have gone and burned your butt yet again. A quick look in the mirror confirms that this is true. There is a tell-tale line that separates bright white and deep red on each of your butt cheeks.

Well friends, I did it again. I was up on the roof deck the other day and I burned my butt. Inevitably, I spend the next three days recuperating from burning my butt by freaking out that I have developed melanoma. Then I start to google melanoma and look at gross pictures to confirm that yes, that is just a sunspot and not a cancerous growth. (Please don't google images of melanoma. It is gross. I have spared you by not posting a photo here. Now I warned you, so as you immediately go to google it, don't blame me.)
After I get over the fact that I did not develop melanoma from burning my butt, I put that swimsuit back on and head to the roof deck armed with my SPF 4 tanning oil. And I'm sure in a few days I will think once again that it is a good idea to stay out a little too long in the sun and I will burn my butt. Yes, I have a problem, as I had previously stated.

Anyone else have a similar issue or am I alone here?

P.S. I am sure some of you will be concerned for my health and think I am not taking this seriously. I can assure you in reality I do as I have known people that dealt with melanoma. I just had to write this P.S. as a little disclaimer for those that may freak out.

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Heidi Shenk "summer"

There is not a whole lot for me to write about today, but what I do have to say is absolutely wonderful.  

Done with my fifth year of teaching. Done with students. Done with lesson planning. Done with grading papers. Done with stress. I finished packing up my room and did some last minute paper work today before getting the go ahead to leave school. So now I am officially done. Until the end of August at least. After the most difficult year I've had so far, it is hard to even explain how relieved I am that this school year is over.

So what will I do with all of my free time during the next two months?

Drink some iced coffee.
 Chillax and suntan on our new roof deck furniture and enjoy the views.
Drive out to The Badlands, Yellowstone, and The Grand Tetons.
Start a second summer of the Design a Day Challenge.

And there will be plenty of other things to add to the list. :) But for now, I'm just going to let it soak in that summer vacation is finally here.

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Design a Day Challenge: Day 2

Heidi Shenk "cards" "chevrons" "design a day" "design" "stationery" "summer"

I love one of fun and often bright trends that has been out and about these days-- chevrons. So for day two of my challenge, I whipped up some bright ombre style chevrons with colors that were almost waiting for a summer day like today. A light gray and classic font in capitals finished these flat stationery note cards off.

I think I've found a new fave (but don't I always say that?). What sorts of chevrons and stripes have you been craving these days?

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