Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summer, this week















This was our third week of summer break.

We had our second week of swimming lessons. This session is over now. Both small Bears passed their level! I'm very proud. We'll have another session in mid-July. I think they'll ace it.

The library is my favorite place on earth right now. The branch we like to visit in the summer (because their summer reading events don't coincidence with swimming, like they do at our regular neighborhood branch) had a big renovation this winter, in which they added a giant event room and greatly improved the air-conditioning system. It's so nice now. A couple of hours in there cools me off for the rest of the day.

I made a really good impromptu cold pasta salad. I cooked one pound of farfalle (bowtie) pasta and tossed it with olive oil, salt and pepper and a little of the cooking water. Then I added some ribbons of salami, bits of provolone cheese, cut-up Campari tomatoes, quartered artichoke hearts (from a can), sliced black olives and some fresh basil. It was delicious and plentiful; we had enough for a dinner and a lunch.

The heat is on, as mentioned. The smoke is too, as there are two big wildfires in nearby parts of the state. We're not in any danger here, but the smoke haze has been a problem. Gorgeous sunsets, though; the sun is blood-red and the whole sky turns pink. Hopefully, the monsoon fires up soon and brings much-needed rain, to us all and especially to the fire zones.

We've been enjoying a special treat - a flat of San Pellegrino citrus sodas from Costco. So delicious.

I've been listening to this song a lot lately, Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself," featuring Ed Sheeran. I love Ed, am not normally that much of a Bieber fan, but this song is great.

I'm savoring my cups of tea in the afternoon (usually Bigelow English Teatime, sometimes chai), especially since I haven't had enough time for morning cups while swimming has been going on.

On that note, I didn't finish any books this week. I didn't win the library's reading prize for adults either (it's a random weekly drawing). I also entered a fun contest where you have to identify a book which they have shredded and placed in a jar. I saw "Pemberley" and "Bennet," so it better have been Pride and Prejudice.

The pirate ship is going fast now. I started the boat part this week. I'm trying to slow down and savor the work, but I really love this project. I work on it most afternoons, catching the tail end of John Tesh on the radio in the living room. That's usually when I have my tea.

We're having a labor dispute with our hens. They aren't laying much lately (which may be related to molting, or to their getting older), but we know they have eaten a couple of their own eggs too. We put a plastic Easter egg in the nest box to help deter egg-eating. They take turns sitting on the plastic egg; one gets off and the other hops on. Hens are entertaining.

The Bear and I are SO EXCITED for the return of Endeavour tonight (jumping.out.of.our.skins!). We love this show and we've waited about two years for a new season. It's slick and creepy and gorgeous. I adore the mod fashions. We're looking forward to checking out the new show, The Tunnel, as well (especially me). I do so love my imported public-television dramas.

We're cooking up a storm today, making a Father's Day dinner for the Bear's dad. He's putting St. Louis-style ribs in the smoker and I'm making side dishes, with strawberry ice cream for dessert. I just put the cream mixture in the fridge to chill and we'll churn it this afternoon. I'm barely stopping myself from eating it now. The struggle is real.

Thanks for your comments lately. I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing Nora's and Nellie's beds and that they brought back sweet memories for some of you. I hope you have a good week ahead. On Tuesday, I'll be hitting the road with my three Bears for a few days. See you soon!

35 comments:

  1. Summer sounds perfect. Happy Father's Day to the Bear!
    Meredith

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  2. Oh your lovely blue sky.. again!
    It's pouring down with rain here.. again!

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  3. What a great set of photos (as always) - the bee-in-the-lavender shots are especially beautiful. That cross-stitch is adorable. And English Teatime is my favourite supermarket tea of all time - it makes wonderful iced tea too, especially with a few spearmint leaves thrown in.

    We also are looking forward to Endeavour. :)

    Happy Father's Day to the Bear. Enjoy that strawberry ice cream!

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  4. It sounds like you are having a wonderful day full of delicious food. Strawberry ice cream... Yum!! I'm making spaghetti and meatballs for Father's Day dinner this evening. I'm also planning to make your pasta salad this week. Thanks for sharing! It will be perfect for a hot, summer evening!

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  5. Wow, your cross stitch is growing quickly and looks amazing. Homemade strawberry ice cream sounds like a delicious treat - enjoy!

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  6. Sounds like a very good week, you're making me long for the summer holidays to start. The library is always one of my favourite places to go as well. I'm taking notes of your entertainment and food ideas, the pasta salad looks delicioius. Hope you have a lovely meal together. Homemade strawberry ice-cream is always a winner. CJ xx

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  7. Your pasta salad looks oh so tasty! πŸ˜‹
    It's been a very long wait for Endeavour. Wish They'd bring back other British programs. We do love Midsomer Murders. πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§
    Have an enjoyable with your 3 bears. πŸš™

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  8. Another wonderful week, Jennifer. Enjoy your days away! :o)

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  9. Love your Pirate Ship. It's Stitchrovia, right?
    Sounds like a lovely Father's Day.

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  10. Your pasta salad sounds good! What a little cutey your pirate ship is. Homemade ice cream yum!!!

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  11. It looks like summer is going well for all, except maybe the chickens!
    Enjoy your get-away!

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  12. Im so looking forward to summer.... and that pasta of yours looks absolutely delicious!

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  13. I especially love your bee photos - I can never get enough pictures of bees and flowers.

    And the library! I have some grandchildren coming this week, and I think I'll take them over and explore in the children's reading room once or twice. I've fallen under the library spell again myself this month. It must be summer and childhood bookmobile memories that are charming me.

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  14. Sounds like a perfect week. I remember when our old library moved to a fantastic new building by the wharf; we were so excited. Your pasta salad sounds just lovely for a summer's day and save me a bowl of that strawberry ice cream please! We are big Endeavour fans too. I worried initially that he wouldn't be able to fill John Thaw's shoes, but I find that he does easily. L went to Oxford uni and her college appears quite often; I always have to give it a little wave! I hope your chucks sort themselves out soon. xx

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  15. Your holidays sound so full of family fun! Congrats to the children on their swimming results! I do hope the rains come soon and extinguish the fires. Are they in waste land or are people's homes damaged? Hope you have another lovely week! x

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  16. Sounds perfect, all of it. Enjoy your trip x

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  17. Loved this summery post Jennifer. Swimming and the library were the backbone of my children's summer holiday weeks too. But the torn up book - might it have been 'Death comes to Pemberley' by the British crime writer PD James or even the excellent riff on 'P&P' told from the servants' perspective. Can't think of the title or author right now ... (it's Longbourn by Jo Baker). I would recommend both. When I was staying in Oxford with my daughter a few years ago (in an old building next to the Oxford Union which frankly was a little rowdy) 'Endeavour' was being filmed around the town in daytime and at night. The atmosphere, as you can imagine, was electric. Almost daily strawberry jam and ice cream making going on here - I'm still toying with the idea of an ice cream maker - the problem is when my arm says it can churn no more (I do use an electric hand whisk which is still hard work) the season is nearly over and there goes another year.

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  18. Sounds idyllic, just wish you could send some summer weather our way. Have a great trip.

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  19. Ah, such sweet funny chickens with their green plastic egg. Made me smile :))
    The pirate ship looks so stylish, ready to sail across that swimming pool. Everything in your area looks even nicer with that mountain behind. I think it adds serenity to your environment.

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  20. Your summer sounds wonderful. It's hard to slow down with a project sometimes when you're enjoying it so much, isn't it? The cross stitch is looking fabulous though. Enjoy your trip.

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  21. lots of nice things! It helps to remember and look for them, doesn't it! You are flying through that cross stitch! very nice! I hope you have a nice week and safe trip! :)

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  22. Thanks for your summer week series, Jennifer. I am enjoying it very much. We have had decidedly cool weather this past week so you helped warm up my thinking and imagine hot summer days like yours. I hope you have a good safe trip this week, too. ☀️πŸŒΎπŸ“πŸ“šπŸ’ž

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  23. Lovely pictures..
    We are big fans of the library too.. they have great reading programs and the kids get prizes every time they finish reading a certain number of minutes.
    And agreed not a Beiber fan at all but that song is really great.

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  24. Lots of lovely things in your post...sounds like you are having such a nice summer! I hope you have a wonderful trip this week Jennifer.
    Helen xox

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  25. Your pasta salad inspired me.. I think I'll try to get something like that in our dinner plan rotation. :-) Your outdoor pool looks so inviting.. we have a short window of sunny warm days that most of our pools are indoor. Have fun on your adventure.. hope you share pictures!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-) OH.. and it sounds like your chickens have gone broody - we have one that does that all the time and won't lay.

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  26. Hey Jennifer,
    I cannot tell you how much I ma longing for the long summer holiday. Olly is exhausted and tears before bedtime are a nightly ritual at the moment. Your bee pictures are really beautiful, as is the one of your daughter staring wistfully out of the window.
    Leanne xx

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  27. ribs and strawberry ice cream, what a feast xxx

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  28. Wonderful, just wonderful. I am really enjoying your summer posts. I am very much reminded of my own childhood summers. xx

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  29. Another lovely post. I am really enjoying these weekly instalments, I have to say. I haven't watched Endeavour but thank you for the tip. We are currently gripped by season 4 of House of Cards. It's amazing.

    Have a great time on your road trip. xx

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  30. Hi Jennifer! I enjoyed your post so much. It reminds me a lot of the summers I had when our children were home. That salad looks delicious and a perfect treat for a hot day. I think I'll be making that soon too. I so love the library. I was lucky that our kids are all avid readers too and liked going with me. :-) I'm so glad that the fires aren't endangering you. I've been watching them on the news and it brings back reminders of our horrible fires last summer here in Washington. I feel for everyone affected by them. Enjoy your week Jennifer.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  31. Sounds like a great start to summer! Your pasta salad sounds yummy and so perfect for quick meals. I never knew that hens ate their own eggs!
    Have a great road trip!

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  32. I am loving these summer posts, your place sounds like a good place to hang out!

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  33. It sounds like a good summer holiday so far, with ice cream and swimming! The pirate ship looks great. Enjoy your trip with the Bears. xx

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  34. The library sounds like a wonderful place to escape to. I heard about those fires last week so hope that they are able to put them out soon. Hope you are having an enjoyable getaway.

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  35. Jennifer there is something so warm and fresh about your writing, I just love the way you descibe things. I am greatly enjoying your summer posts. X

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