This was our seventh week of summer break.
The heat has been brutal for the past two weeks, but it seems as if relief is in sight for the coming week. We will finally be seeing some more monsoon activity. This has been an unusually hot and dry summer so far. Everyone is feeling fed up with it. Unfortunately, our break from the heat will contribute to a scary-sounding "heat dome" situation for the Midwest. I hope it doesn't get too bad for people there.
We're eating a lot of cold foods nowadays, just trying to keep the house and our bodies cool. Our tomatoes are plentiful enough to have a few almost every day, though I still buy them at the store too. I make green salads or tomato-cucumber-basil salads most nights for dinner.
We did bake this past week, partly to keep busy but also because we felt like cookies. We made jam thumbprint cookies with our own homemade raspberry jam. It was just a small batch (this is my favorite recipe for thumbprint cookies) and they were delicious. I refrigerated them to keep them fresh and the jam drops got nice and firm, like soft jellybeans.
During the week, I really enjoyed this post about vacationing in Beirut in the 1960's, before the city was devastated by war. It's of particular interest to me because my mother's family, who are Syrian American, often vacationed in Beirut in that era and I've always tried to imagine it as the glamorous place it once was. That's a really neat blog, by the way, lots to see and learn.
The kids went back for another session of swimming lessons. We'll be there this week as well. This session is quite sparsely attended and I've got the shady knoll pretty much all to myself. It's thirty-five minutes of cool, breezy bliss.
We attended the final week of the library's summer reading program. There are still three-plus weeks until school starts and I wish they had more activities to help pass the time, but library budgets are not exactly fat these days. I understand, but still...summer break is long. We'll go to the library anyway, activities or not. The kids have both been reading a lot this summer, especially the GB - her nose is almost always in a book. It's wonderful to see.
My pirate ship cross-stitch is so close to being finished. I'm just adding the final bits of "water" detail under the ship now. I hope to have a finished, framed project soon. There's birthday-gift work to get started on.
The GB found a large clutch of empty snail shells under a wild grapevine in the arroyo. She was picking them up by the handful to save in a bag. They're really interesting; no two are alike.
I'm really enjoying these quiet summer weeks, spent mostly at home in swamp-cooled air, with short trips out for groceries, library books, swims and occasional coffees. My kids are getting older and are better at occupying themselves during the long days, which has been good for my relaxation. I'm feeling so anxious and ill-at-ease with the news and everything going on right now. I'd like to shut off and ignore it all, but I don't think that's realistic. I do my best; I tend to listen to the radio more than I watch TV, which helps. It's all just nuts - the elections, the violence, the political unrest here and abroad. Just in the time since I began writing this post (I stopped for a trip to Costco), there was another mass shooting of police officers. I just don't know what to say about that. I will say again that I'm trying to use the computer less, because it's tempting to click over to the news or - at the very least - the weather (I can torment myself with bad news in any number of ways, just try me), so if I'm scarce, you'll know why.
I hope you're having a good weekend. We're staying home the rest of the day, having gotten the Costco chore out of the way. I'm going to make iced tea now. We're grilling some pork chops and asparagus for dinner and looking forward to our Sunday night PBS watching party for two. I'm really enjoying this show Dancing on the Edge. Have you watched it? It's very good; the Bear is quite possibly the most avid John Goodman fan alive, and as usual, I'm in love with the period costumes.
I leave you with two summer songs from my adolescence, just because I've felt like listening to them lately: this one because it's about, well, summer. And this one because I once heard a radio DJ announce it as "the ANTHEM of the summer of 1995," so obviously it's of major cultural importance.