Sunday, June 5, 2016

Summer, this week















This was our first week of summer break.

We spent lots of time outside, in relatively cool weather, which was nice because it's going to get really hot this week and probably stay that way. I barely left the house all week. The children and I were very happy to stay at home, doing indoor things like reading and crafts when we weren't in the backyard. It was good; I got some things done around the house and just generally laid low. It really felt like a break, which was what I needed.

We're eating lots of summer fruits; my produce drawers in the fridge are so stuffed I can hardly move them. I've already been buying berries, melon, corn on the cob, tomatoes and squash by the bushel, it seems. I hope that means there will be good choices all summer, but you never know.

We're attempting to grow some of our own vegetables, hopeful as ever, and watching our fruit trees. The apples have done well so far, the plums not so much. It's different every year. I'll have one of the highlights of my summer life, homegrown strawberries, very soon.

My pirate ship cross-stitch is coming along. I'm nearly finished stitching all of the different sails and flags. I stitched a lot this week, relaxing in the living room with the radio on.

I baked one of my favorite simple cake recipes, Chocolate vinegar cake, to the delight of everyone. I love making this cake; it's easy and fast and it eats like a far fancier cake. It's moist and very chocolatey.  I always think about how good it would be with cherries, even canned cherry pie filling. I should put that on the shopping list.

The GB has discovered cootie catchers. Remember them? Her fortunes are really imaginative; we do not have a housekeeper, unless she means me.

The Bear and I watched "The Sixties," a ten-part documentary series on Netflix, and started "The Seventies." They're so good. If you haven't watched them, I think you should.

We had an impressive thunderstorm during the week. It came up fairly suddenly from the north and brought a lot of hail and heavy rain. We had more than half an inch of rain in about thirty minutes. The storm hit just minutes after we'd tucked the GB into bed for the night, and I knew she'd want to watch it so I went and got her. We all watched from the windows at the back of the house. Later, I went outside and saw a double rainbow between us and the mountain. It was a good storm for June; we're just a few weeks away from monsoon season and I can't wait.

I'm planning to write posts like this each week in the summer to help mark the time, keep track of things that we do and appreciate the simple pleasures of summertime. I always end up feeling kind of bad about our loooong summer break - restless, aimless, bored. I think blogging the weeks will help.

Thanks for your comments recently. I'm really behind on blogs but hoping to catch up soon. I hope you're all doing well and having a good weekend!

32 comments:

  1. That's some scary swinging going on there! I do love a thunder storm but, despite one being forecast for today, there's no sign yet so I'm very envious of yours. That rainbow is stunning against the stormy sky. It sounds like your first week of summer has been perfect. xx

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  2. A wonderful rainbow. Everything looks so nice ...

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  3. I think a double rainbow means double the luck. Glad you were able to stay home and rest up, well getting lots of things done isn't resting up but just being home is such a nice place to be.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  4. Looks like you have had all weathers there. The Girls and I had a few days away this week, unfortunately we went East and it was so cold I wore my PJ T-shirt under my top to keep warm. Andy was texting to say the sun was burning his head as he painted the Kitchen windows Grrr! I always rue the summer holidays swinging between trying to relax and enjoy the moments and also getting things done while it is warm and dry. Have a good week. Jo x

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  5. hoping your strawberries are as good this year as ours have been.....our farms are almost out of them, but we've been eating them by the quart....and jam by the pound!! yummmmmmm

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  6. Glorious summer, I shall look forward to your posts tracking the weeks. It sounds like you've had a brilliant first week. We've just had a week off, but it's back to school tomorrow for seven more weeks. The summer has hit here though, wonderful weather, a slight blush on the first of the strawberries, haymaking, ducklings, its all wonderful. Love the cross stitch, I do like sewing extra much in the summer. I hope you all have a lovely summer break. CJ xx

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  7. It sounds like a blissfully relaxing week. I do like pottering around the house, letting the children play and make something crafty. I hope the coming week will be lovely and not too hot. x

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  8. That sounds like a wonderful week. I would love to come and hang out with you and relax too if I may. I love a good thunderstorm we have some forecast this week too, I do hope they arrive! Hope your second week is just as lovely :)

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  9. lovely, all the crafting and staying home... it is good to record all the things we are thankful for, I find it helps a lot! it's so great to have fresh summer produce! such a blessing! :)

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  10. Sounds like you've had a good week, Jennifer. I did smile at the photo of the wee bears upside-downing on the swings - much more fun for children to do that than for parents to watch! :o)

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  11. Oh wow, your week sounds so amazing. Cross stitching in the afternoons? Yes please! I feel like I need another week off to recover from this one but it's back to work and school for us tomorrow. I love posts like these and I am looking forward to more of the same throughout your summer break. xx

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  12. What a lovely newsy post! I adore your cross stitch 😊 I think documenting the little things that happen during our weeks is a wonderful way to look back and see that the little things really were the big things. xo

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  13. Summer is looking good in your area! The rainbows were just gorgeous! I do remember cootie catchers - what fun. :) The cake is making me hungry.

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  14. It was great to hear about your week Jennifer, it sounds like a good one, your cross stitch is looking lovely, I might just try that chocolate cake it looks yummy, have a great week. :) xx

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  15. Looks like you had the most wonderful start to summer :)

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  16. Sounds like a great start to the season, spending quality time together is always good. Love the cross stitch you really are making a lot of progress. Take care.

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  17. It sounds like a lovely first week off, pottering around doing whatever takes your fancy. The cross stitch is really coming along, it has such lovely colours in it and will look fabulous when it's finished. I'm going to check out the recipe for that chocolate cake, it's looks divine.

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  18. I loved reading this, this morning. Your post has a peacefulness to it. A quiet pleasure in nature and the children and things that bring happiness . It was a lovely way to start my day.

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  19. Anything chocolate is worth making, but I have to admit I've never heard of a chocolate vinegar cake. Beautiful rainbow.

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  20. Sounds like the perfect start to summer! Strawberries, chocolate cake, and a beautiful storm - how wonderful!

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  21. It sounds perfect I've just spent a week pottering at home and it was just lovely. I think we are due a storm here too shortly xx

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  22. Hey Jennifer,
    Olly and planted strawberries in three big terracotta pots this year. Yesterday he picked nine fat juicy beauties, and they tasted out of this world. I like the sound of that cake. I'm on a mission to lose a stone before a family wedding, so I'm not going to dare to ask for the recipe. As for Netflix, I'll look out for that series. I was watching a favourite comedy drama of mine on Netflix yesterday evening, and thought of you. If yours ever has the series 'Gavin and Stacey' on, you must watch it. It is simply brilliant, and ticks all the boxes. All the actors are outstanding. James Corden co-wrote and starred in it. He's a big fish over your way now, I hear ;)
    Have a lovely week,
    Leanne xx

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    1. Thanks, Leanne. I have seen Gave and Stacey! I watched the whole series several years ago on Netflix. I haven't watched James Corden's show but I do like to watch videos of his carpool karaoke now and then. :)

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  23. oh I remember making those fortune tells.. they were such fun
    those brownies look heavenly.
    Love the shot of the kids on the swings.. watching the kids play outside is one of my favorite things about summer.

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  24. Hi Jennifer ~ I loved this post; hearing about what you've been up to since the kids have been out of school and what's going on in your little world. I don't think I ever remember seeing your daughter's hair down...I love the photo of her looking out the window at the storm with all that beautiful hair cascading down her back! I also don't think I've ever seen that room...I spy a fireplace? Have you showed us this room before? The other photo I especially love is the one with the kids on the swing set. Made me smile. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Melanie. That's our family room. It is a fireplace. The family room is sort of open with the kitchen. My daughter has really lush hair, she's so lucky. But it's really unmanageable and falls right over her face, so we usually have it pulled back in a headband or with a hair tie so she can see. :)

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  25. Gosh, that's a dramatic change in the weather! You can see the hail/rain bouncing. I do love a good storm when it's been hot. Your week sounds lovely, Jennifer, with a good amount of relaxing and pottering. Our strawberries have lots of fruit coming but only one has ripened so far. I ate it and it was delicious! I look forward to reading your summer weekly round-up posts. You write so well about the everyday (and about everything else!). Sam x

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  26. Sounds wonderful Jennifer. You have the (rare) ability to kick back and enjoy the moment. My strawberries are just starting to ripen and I was able to have a small handful eaten warm from the plant yesterday - it won't be long before I'm in full jam and ice cream production. Beautiful stitching and your daughter's hair down to her waist is amazing. My daughter used to have very long hair too and I remember very well the day her ballet teacher taught all the girls (aged about 12 years) to do a proper ballet bun which saved me so much angst and was a very good skill to learn I thought.

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  27. I love your pictures and the peek into your life. We started watching The Sixties too. So good. I've always been intrigued by those Vinegar cake recipes!

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  28. Such a lovely post and a little look at your happy family life, Jennifer. Lots of amazing weather there...and very varied too. Your cross stitch looks so colourful and so neatly stitched, and the cake looks yummy.....and as for the children swinging so high...hold on tight there!! Hope you have another lovely week.
    Helen xox

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  29. It is fun to be late in commenting sometimes, to note other commenters reactions and news :) From my mainly midwest upbringing I grew up with a keen interest in the weather and have been surprised to realize that the Portland area weather is moderate in so many ways, including infrequent thunderstorms! While I don't miss the terrifying ones that bred tornadoes, I do rather miss the frequency of moderate thunderstorms. Your rainbow photos are especially lovely. Thanks for the Netflix suggestions...I have nearly worn out their HGTV offerings :) xx

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  30. Lots of wonderful photographs. I particularly like the one of everyone watching the storm. It is such a good feeling watching a storm from inside, or even from outside, all that ozone! X

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