June 4, Sunday – Judge the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s National High School Design Competition

The only judging that took place today was the kind of judging that comes with having two teenagers in the house. If there is a competition for “Student Messy Bedroom Design” I could help judge.

June 5, Monday – Mow fields

While I like to refer to sitting on our sunporch as “going up to camp” it would be a huge stretch to call our lawn a field. There was no mowing today, it was rainy and in the mid-50s. Summer feels like it’s a long way off.

June 6, Tuesday – Plant melons

More rain. Same chilly temps. The only really good thing about this weather is that some of the plants I moved over the weekend have taken very happily to their new homes, and I haven’t even needed to water them.

Tonight I went to the soft opening of a new Portland bar, Blyth & Burrows. Nicely decorated with antiques, a stunning custom mural (above) by local artist Pat Corrigan, custom wallpaper and a very tempting cocktail list. I think Martha would have liked the figureheads that flanked the bar.

June 7, Wednesday – Stock up on summer wines

I bought a bottle of cava to have on hand for tonight because my parents are visiting. That’s as close to stocking up on summer wines as I’m likely to get.

The sun was out today and I met a good friend for lunch, handing off a few of the hyacinth bean seedlings. It felt like summer, finally, and we talked about summer plans, and plants, but not wines.

By the way, it turns out it is rhubarb growing in the back of my flower bed. My mother confirmed it, and I harvested it, which is a very sophisticated way of saying I tore the stems at their base and brought them inside.

June 9, Friday – Clean outdoor lighting fixtures

My husband and I considered the lamp post in our front yard. We need to replace the lamp part, and repaint the post, or maybe replace the whole thing. The bulbs inside the lamp are lying on their side, and we’re not sure if that’s why the lamp doesn’t work or if there is a greater issue. It definitely doesn’t look very classy. It’s a good thing you can’t tell how junky it looks unless you walk right up to it. I’m sure Martha would never have let it reach this phase. I didn’t bother to clean it, or the lamp on the front of our house, but it looked ok to me. Maybe all the rain cleaned it?

June 10, Saturday – Host friends for picnic

We went to Home Depot today to buy some porch paint for the new steps and railing in front of the house. We’re supposed to have a dry spell til Tuesday, so are going to try to get it painted in time. As part of our newfound summer optimism we also went to the beach to purchase our annual beach pass. Martha should add that to her calendar of “gentle reminders, helpful tips, and important dates.” We then painted the first coat on the railing and we grilled dinner – but no picnic, or friends, tonight.

We did have some friends over last night for drinks before going to The Well, which is a lot like having a picnic with friends if you are used to the sort of picnic where someone serves you food you have ordered. We dined in a gazebo, which is important if you want to avoid being eaten by mosquitos this time of year.

I’ve always wanted to host a picnic like Martha’s though. She sets up whole tables with flowing linens, glasses, plates and lanterns hung from the trees or posts jammed into the sand. The June issue has several different picnic options but I like the outline from the link below better.

This week’s tip from Martha: How to plan a picnic

I think I’ll plan a picnic using her menu later this summer. It sounds like it would be fun, and I do like to eat at the beach.