Vegetables from the garden.

Mostly the garden is parched and miserable, because the heat has been too severe. Yo u look out the window from your ar conditioned room and think it’s so pretty out, whata great day to take the dog for a walk, and instead the first step outside is like climbing into a slow oven.

However, it rained yesterday. I was meeting with the Art Teacher and a couple of other guys, and just as we were getting deeply into questions of pricing the thunder began and the rain poured down. Very nice. Not so great to drive in after the meeting, and not so great that it knocked out our internet, but the plants are happy.

The temperature even went down into the 90s, so it felt balmy when I went to pick up #1 son from work. We gave him dinner and then, while my husband watched the Olmpics, #1 son and I went through every single class that is still open at the university in hopes of finding him a class to take. He still has no career plans, so choosing things that might be useful to him in the future wasn’t practical. We signed him up for French, Shakespeare, some lit class with a title so vague I can’t even recall it, and “Assessment of Quality in Apparel,” which was the only class in its time slot that didn’t appear to require advanced mathematics.

He wants to spend his life in self betterment, he assures me. I had to admit that it’s hard to get people to pay you for that, unless you’re getting better at the work you do for them.

I guess I spend my life in self betterment, too. I tend to think of it not as a life’s calling but as a sightly shameful and irritating habit. This is particularly true when so many of my attempts at self betterment don’t succeed. This blog is evidence that I have been trying for years to eat right and exercise regularly — and sometimes I do, but then I backslide and start over. I achieve a balanced work/home life briefly and then get back to insane work hours and an unkempt home. I get reasonably adept with zippers and buttonholes and then quit sewing for months.

Granted, I actually do get better at some things. I get bored with the other things, though, the things that I keep trying to improve at without really being able to look back and say, “I did it!” I don’t so much get bored with trying to improve in those areas as with writing about my efforts.

Still, if I didn’t constantly try to improve, I would probably get steadily worse. I may not be chic, for example, but I no longer dress like a bag lady with limited access to mirrors. I get regular haircuts and put on makeup more often than not. I own enough clothing  that I can look professional every day for classes and meetings, even if I still sometimes slouch around in jeans and T shirt when I’m spending the day at the computer. If I didn’t constantly set that goal for myself and strive toward it once again, I’d be in house dresses and a bun by now.