What we’re doing now: the summer of Sam

Here is what the fam and I have been up to in August 2021.

(This is a post for a now page, and if you have your own site, you should make one, too.)

The summer is over now, both in that the weather is no longer threatening to be anywhere near “hot” (not that it ever is in Scotland), the days are getting noticeably shorter, and school started this week.

If there were a theme for the summer, it would have to be the emergence of Sam as a force of nature on the same (but different) level as his big sister Vivian. He’s gone from a shy, brooding, timid boy to a loud, goofy, and confident little man. Ok, maybe the brooding part is still there. All of this just in time for Sam to start his first year at school (aka kindergarten/primary 1).

Over the summer, Sam learned to ride a bike, shout at grandma for ice cream, wage water gun war with his cousins, advance to a high level in Minecraft Dungeons, not get injured on his skateboard (something his Dad was not able to avoid), double his friend network (which is also double what his Dad has), and most curiously, care A LOT about how his hair looks.

It was, unmistakably, the summer of Sam.


Train travels to Glasgow
The field walk with Rubee

What else the fam and I are doing now:

🏘️ Securing a builder for (and a date to start) our long-awaited house renovation project

🎲 Playing Yatzy with Vivian every night before bed (she is obsessed but I must admit I do enjoy it)

✈️ Threatening to book a trip either to the states to visit fam or to a sunny destination soon but COVID is still making us wary

❤️ Reading Radical Acceptance by Tara Broch, the Miles Davis autobiography (still, it’s long), and about to start something else soon

🖌️ Researching taking some art classes in Glasgow (watercolor or a new type of illustration)

🇬🇧 Renewing my UK visa (it’s already been over 2 years)

🏃 Running another half-marathon (the one I was signed up for has been canceled 😢)

🐴 Training with horse riding lessons for a competition coming up for Vivian

🎮 Playing Minecraft Dungeons (Xbox) and Animal Crossing (Switch) plus I’m playing Control (Xbox) late night

🖼️ Painting and drawing things randomly as time allows and posting them on Five Figures

🐕 Still figuring out how to get our dog Rubee to come back to us when we call

📺 Watching Bloodline (Netflix) and Ted Lasso (Apple TV)

🏔️ Planning a hike up Meikle Bin and to Ben Cleuch in the Ochils

🍅 Learning about making fermented tomatoes (and bbq foccacia) with the upcoming tomato crop

⏲️ Trying our best to maximize our time


For more stories check out new and old Now posts and the What I learned last week series.

4 Comments

Back when stay-at-home was in effect and we were doing more video chats with distant family, we played a fair bit of Yahtzee over video, as long as both sides have the dice it’s a nice easy game to play.

For the dog, I had the best luck using a specific, consistent whistle sound and giving her treats every time I called her back.

We’ve been trying the whistle and treats but if there is another animal or other people in the mix it is very hard to get her attention to come back to us. Maybe that is just the nature of our dog.

Yes, Reese also has trouble if there’s distractions, this works when we’re solo hiking though.

Comments welcome!