Saturday, June 11, 2016
Summer, this week
This was our second week of summer break.
We started swimming lessons this week at the nearby city pool. Technically, we could walk, or bike, there, but we have to use two very busy roads and I don't have the patience to do that alone with two children. This is our sixth year of lessons up there and it's the same each year: I sit under a big, shady pine tree for thirty-five minutes and read a book, or chat a little with other moms, but mostly I read.
The book I read this week at the pool was In a Dark, Dark Wood, by Ruth Ware. I finished it yesterday. It was a suspense novel in the vein of Gone Girl, or The Girl on the Train. It was good, but I figured out most of the mystery fairly early and then I had that problem where you keep reading and hoping you're wrong about the mystery. Does that happen to you?
This week also saw the start of weekly summer reading program events at the library. We actually went twice, both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Tuesday was a special program for "tweens" (the LB was enrolled officially; they kindly allowed the GB to play along too) on the topic of balance in creating mobile sculptures. The children made their own mobiles using all sorts of junk. Wednesday's program was the general all-ages event, a really good storyteller this week. I'm participating in the reading challenge for adults this summer. I could win some really good prizes just for the reading I'd do anyway, so wish me luck.
It's really hot out now. I feel like an old dishrag by the end of every day. I hate to be hot - really, really hate it. I don't like the sticky, greasy feeling I always seem to have in the summer. I'm making the best of it, but I'm so much more a cool-weather person than a hot-weather one.
We've been eating endless quantities of blueberries - by the handful, in our cereal, with yogurt, and this week, in muffins. I made my old standby recipe from the Betty Crocker book, with optional streusel topping, and they were wonderful. I should make muffins more often.
Cooking is less appealing in general, however. This always happens to me in the summer. I think that if I could just eat things like fruit and ice cream all day, every day, I'd be very happy. I have to provide more than that, unfortunately. I get more inventive in the summer, at least, just trying to keep it going. I made turkey chili this week with canned Ranch Style Beans instead of the usual kidney or black beans. I thought it came out really well. I love Ranch Beans.
I did some sewing this week, finishing up some things for a special doll friend. I'll share more about that soon.
My cross-stitch pirate ship is coming along quickly now. I finished all the sails and flags this week and have just started the boat part today. Now I have the boat and the waves underneath to do. I have a couple of other stitchery projects I'd like to work on this summer. It's going to be a stitchy summer.
There has been no crochet at all. I'm not happy about it, but I think a break is the right choice. I still don't know what I want to do for my bed afghan, but I have been considering starting a simple blanket just for something mindless to work on, especially at night. I have many blankets already, so this seems kind of ridiculous, but I think I'd put it to good use. I could use up stash yarn too...and buy new yarn.
We have a new orb-weaver spider on the back porch. We had one last summer too, and it was so interesting to watch her grow and maintain her web over the course of the summer. I don't like spiders much, usually, but I think orb-weavers are beautiful and interesting, so she can stay.
The Bear and I finished "The Seventies" history series on Netflix and also watched "The Poisoner's Handbook." It was fascinating! I put a hold on the book it's based on at the library. It's popular.
We had a surprise kid-free lunch out yesterday. The small Bears went to their grandparents' house to have lunch and play, so we took ourselves out for sandwiches and cake.
At home, we're working on crafts, computer skills, math and reading. We're trying to keep our plants and veggies alive in the heat, and we're enjoying bread baked by the Bear, from recipes in his Tartine Bread cookbook. Tonight, we're making pizza with one of their recipes for the dough, and fresh mozzarella and basil on top. I'm going to have a cold bottle of Strongbow in a few minutes, and I'm already very excited for dessert - mint-chip ice cream.