Turning To Do’s into Ta Da’s

Dear Friends,
Summer break is so close I can taste it like a yummy cone from the Good Humor truck, June 1970. As is my habit, I’ve created an ambitious To-Do List with an equally obnoxious goal of early September. Ten weeks to accomplish twelve things.

list I wish I still believed in a 365 day summer break. When I was much younger and a little dumber than today, I thought we went to school for a year then enjoyed a year-long summer break. In my youth, the hot summer days seemed endless, each one melting into the next. The neighborhood kids were outside practically at sunup. A good kickball or baseball game could always be had. We youngsters weren’t permitted back into our homes until the streetlights came on. In my head these wondrous, slow summer days added up to a year – an easy mistake to make. Imagine my horror upon discovering school break was but ten weeks long.

I’m grownup now. I attempt tackling summer To-Do Lists like I do mural painting – one wall at a time. If I have to paint an ocean scene, I’ll run back and forth really fast before the latex paint dries…
First wall and first rule, always begin at the beginning-

paratroopersSame wall opposite end, start high-

heli big 2Coming down below the chopper, end low-

below chopper 2Adjoining wall, leap to next-
Vmural detail2Work down, here they come over Hummer Hill-
Vmural detail4And zero in on details. One last closeup of a bedroom whose little boy collected G.I. Joe action figures.

hummer close Personally, I like horses on walls-

spiritToday I’d vote for the One Year On, One Year Off – School Plan. If I had a year off, I’m practically certain I’d turn my To Do’s into Ta Da’s. Wouldn’t you guys vote the same?

Thank you and goodnight. Here’s to dreaming of accomplishments, both real and imagined…

(I painted all murals with good old latex paint and some enamels. Sorry image quality not great, these are photos of photos. The delicate daughter and big son – years ago, standing in front of  “Spirit” (from the movie) inspired mural. Today Spirit’s mural remains in the big son’s room, as he is very sentimental.)


12 thoughts on “Turning To Do’s into Ta Da’s

  1. One of the many joys of being retired is having essentially a 365 day summer vacation (but sometimes it is really cold). My Daddy says once you retire, you no longer get weekends or vacations or days off, but I much prefer the 365 day summer vacation idea. My to-do list is mental, rather than written down, but I love your to-dos to ta-daas phrase. Good luck with your list! – Fawn


    • It’s funny –
      My mother-in-law spends her retirement immersed in books and eating out often. I think I may have mentioned before – she’s a 3x cancer survivor, who to this day, still enjoys her smokes. She is relaxed in this lifestyle. My folks are on the other end of the spectrum and are constantly going from Point A to Point B, sometimes in different countries – the only thing they ever stop for is the occasional surgery. My husband and I often joke about this ‘paradox’ and hope (assuming we’re blessed with good fortune) to retire and live a style somewhere in between.
      We can’t wait to dwell in a little farmhouse with real live farmish animals…but for now it’s chipping away at lists while smiling and feeding family 🙂 while smiling of course!
      Thanks for the luck and I return the wish to you as well. It seems that you’re enjoying your retirement with élan!
      Happy Weekend, my friend.
      AnnMarie 🙂


    • Thank you. Please don’t feel too bad – I look around at the amazing talent out there, and not only artists but writers like you and feel little pangs in my heart – there is so much I need to improve upon and I have many weaknesses – at 51, I’ve just learned to hide them better 😉 Thus, I once again am growing my hair long, because that too hides many things 😉
      AnnMarie 🙂
      Happiest of Weekends to you 🙂


    • Ah thank you. I send the compliment back – not all are so wonderful with humor. Our world needs oceans of uplifting prose and high spirits!
      I have a bad habit of liking color everywhere – sometimes I think my home borders on being a tad circus-esque 😉
      AnnMarie 🙂
      Have a wonderful weekend!


  2. Enjoy your summer days off, AnnMarie! Love your list (it looks a little like mine, except where yours says “banjo” mine says “ukulele”). Great wall paintings too, by the way!


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