Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer, this week















This was our eighth week of summer break.

We finally had some rain. Monday afternoon and evening, there were on-and-off storms and showers. Tuesday night brought a big storm just after the Bear and I went to bed. The rain on the roof sounded so good. I'd been waiting for it all summer long.

Our tomatoes have gone crazy! We have fresh tomatoes off the vine every single day now, three different kinds at once. I especially love the Husky cherry tomatoes but the Sweet 100 cherries are nothing to sneeze at. Cherry tomatoes are great to have around; I eat them all day like candy.

The apples are almost ready to eat, by my standards, but they're wildly popular with the kids already. They sit on the wall under the apple tree, picking apples one at a time, eating them and pitching the cores over the wall into the arroyo. Technically, they are littering, but on the other hand, they're eating healthfully and strengthening their arms. Not to mention that it's something to do.

They finished their session of swimming lessons on Friday. Both passed their level, which means that the LB is finished with the swimming-lesson program now. The GB will continue next summer. The LB will be old enough for the junior lifeguard course next year. Can you believe it?

The Bear came to the pool with us on the last day because he was off from work. He brought his travel watercolors with him (he has this set) and painted a lovely little picture of pool life. The boy in the green trunks to the left of the slide is our LB.

I did some nice cooking this week for dinners but didn't get good photos of any of it because of the cloudy evenings and the need for indoor lights. I made eggplant parmigiana, to which I have lately been adding dollops of ricotta cheese between the eggplant layers. It fills out the dish considerably and adds some protein. I also made a chicken and veggie alfredo bake with penne pasta and a Bisquick bake with egg, zucchini and parmesan (the recipe is here; I cut it into large squares for serving instead of the suggested "bites"). And I made a cinnamon-crumb coffee cake (recipe here) -  fabulous with my afternoon tea while it lasted, which wasn't long.

I'm planning a crochet project just for me! This rarely happens. I've been fantasy-shopping a little here and there now that fall clothes are starting to appear, but I'm not seeing much that I love. So I decided I would finally try to make a garment for myself. I've made lots of scarves and hats, but never a real piece of clothing for me. I'm going to crochet The Choro Top from Joy of Motion, a lovely crochet blog and pattern shop. I had some help from a friend, Teresa Kasner, in choosing a yarn for my top. I've settled on Knitpicks' Comfy Worsted Yarn, a blend of pima cotton and acrylic, in the Fairy Tale colorway, which is a deep magenta-wine color. It's very different from colors I usually wear, but hey, I'm branching out. I'm so excited!

I've been reading a wonderful book, How to Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life, by Ruth Goodman. It's a really interesting look at everything a typical person living in the Tudor era would have experienced, from what they ate, to what their beds were like, to the jobs they did. It's just fascinating. Goodman also wrote a similar book about Victorian life, which I've requested from the library. This is the same reason I read blogs, you know; I'm nosy and I just have to know everything about how other people live.

I hope you're having a good weekend. We're sticking close to home. It's really hot. I went to the grocery store early this morning and we've been straightening up the house and yard before some friends visit tomorrow. Tonight, the Bear and I will have takeout Chinese food for our at-home date. Ice cream, too. This coming week will be quiet, without swimming lessons. We'll probably go to the library. I think we should look at the kids' shoes and see what we need to buy before school starts, along with school supplies. Maybe it's a good time for haircuts too, before the rush; school starts in a bit more than two weeks. They say the monsoon should be active again this week; I'm hoping for a few good gully-washers. Or car-washers, I'll take what I can get.

26 comments:

  1. Haha -- I love that bit about being nosey -- isn't that the way it is with us all? I love reading your blog and imagining that I lived out west again -- surrounded by the beautiful mountains! Have a great weekend!

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  2. How the weeks fly by. We're officially on our hols now, last day of school yesterday. Lots of shoes and things to buy here too. I hope you get your rain. It's been dry here as well, I've been doing some watering. Love the Bear's painting of the swimming lesson. I hope you have a good week. CJ xx

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  3. I've just been catching up with your posts Jennifer, I enjoy reading about your Summer days. I love the colour of your new yarn and the top is lovely I'm sure that you will finish it in no time. Have a great week. :) xx

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  4. I went to look at the top pattern and it's o pretty, can't wait to see how it turns out. School in 2 weeks, what a fast summer.

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  5. so quiet and calm your writing! So glad for every good thing! wow! school starting so early! God bless you all! that knit top is going to be super cute! and homegrown tomatoes are such a delicious treat! apples too! :))))

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  6. Always a pleasure to visit your home, Jennifer. The tomatoes speak of Summer, along with the fantastic apple tree, and the great pic of a bee - so clever, as they move fast! It is a treat to see the Bear's painting, a snapshot of Summer fun at a water park. Your crotchet top will be perfect with your colouring - happy crotcheting, and the Tudors, always enjoyable. We are currently watching a new series on History Channel about Henry VIII, and hope to visit Hampton Court while in London.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. I hope you get to visit Hampton Court! I would love to do that. I can't wait to read about it on your blog. :)

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  7. More lovely, peaceful photos!
    Bear is so very talented, the tomatoes look so good!
    I'm glad you are doing a project for you.

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  8. all sounds so lovely - i love it when it rains! and cherry tomatoes make everything happy!
    please tell Bear from us that his artwork is beautiful.
    thank you for sharing with us - enjoy your week ahead xxx

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  9. Summer is passing steadily by in its wonderful technicolor way isn't it. I am enjoying it this year :). I love Ruth Goodman and I bet that book is a wonderful read. She has made (along with two other presenters) a number of fascinating history programmes on the BBC. They are mostly about farming, she and her co-presenters farm as farmers from a particular period for a year.

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    1. Thank you! I really want to watch her shows now. She is so interesting. I've enjoyed reading about her experiments in living in different periods. I think the world of Lucy Worsley, so when I saw her quoted on the back of the Tudor life book, I knew I would enjoy it.

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  10. I'm also looking at crocheting myself some clothing - I like the look of that pattern. Your summer week sounds so peaceful and nice, and I'm glad the rain came at last. Enjoy your time with friends. Xx

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  11. another wonderfully colourful week, congrats to the bears on passing their swimming lessons x

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  12. Have you seen any of the 'Farm' series which Ruth Goodman has appeared in, I'm not sure if you'll be able to get them over there, but if you're enjoying her book I'm sure you'd enjoy these too if you get the chance to watch them. There's Edwardian Farm, Victorian Farm and Tudor Monastery Farm, amongst other programmes she's appeared in. Well done to the small bears on passing their swimming levels, I do love the watercolour of pool life.

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    1. Thanks, Jo! No, I didn't know about those shows but I would love to see them! I will have to try to find them online or something. They sound fascinating!

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  13. I am liking the look of that choro top, it looks like a really useful top. Jo x

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  14. Hi Jennifer! How to be a Tudor sounds very good! I'll buzz over to Amazon now!
    It's hot here, too. An oven.
    I am knitting something similar to what you are crocheting!
    Take care, good girl.

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  15. Happy Sunday Jennifer. I love your summer posts, it takes me back to when our children were at home. We had a doozy of a storm on Friday afternoon. It chopped of the heads of all of my flowers except the marigolds. Your book looks really interesting to me.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  16. Wow.. seems so early for the kids to start school! Our grandsons don't start until the very last of August. You tomato success is wonderful.. we've only had a few yellow cherry tomatoes ripen. Do you spray your apple tree for worms? I like the look of that book... sounds neat. Good job on your husband's watercolor! We're off soon for an afternoon boat ride when our son gets home from work. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. Well, summer break starts in May here, so it's plenty of time off. :) No spray on the apple tree, or anything else we grow, food or otherwise. Natural only for us. :)

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  17. I hope you and the Bear enjoyed your Chinese take-away. Summer is flying by really quickly, isn't it? Young lifeguard training sounds like great fun, much more fun than regular swimming lessons. I am glad the little Bear completed his swimming scheme successfully, a great achievement. I like the top you are planning for yourself, have fun working on it. We just started two week of holiday day camp (the little ones only) as I have now run out of annual leave to take this summer... wishing you a cooler week with plenty of refreshing rainfall. xx

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  18. Sounds wonderful to have a date at home with Chinese food, such a lovely way to reconnect. Sounds like a wonderful crochet project I did crochet up a top for myself which turned out to be too small, I then went a size bigger and It was too big. It is now in a bag, where it will languish until I can face it again.

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  19. Lovely, cheery post! I can't believe how quickly summer is going. Looking forward to seeing how the Choro top progresses -- I didn't see any on Ravelry, but I like the idea of a loose crochet top for summer. I'm using that exact yarn (Fairy Tale! such a great name) for a crochet baby blanket right now (Alicia Paulson's Tiramisu).

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  20. Oh yum, the recipes look delicious. Did you see the Pina Colada Bread recipe she recently posted?
    The crochet top is going to be so nice made up in Knit Picks Comfy. I knit a cardigan for DH with the worsted weight Comfy in a heather gray. He loves it.
    Can't wait to read the book you mentioned. It's on hold at our library.
    Take care and stay cool.

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  21. Lovely images and words. Week eight!! How fabulous to have so much time off in the summer, we only get six weeks and it feels far too short! I like the look of your book; I like to read about everyday life too, and domestic details always fascinate me. Look forward to seeing your new top when it is done, love the colour X

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  22. Hi Jennifer,
    We got home from camping at 10pm Sunday night, and I am enjoying scrolling back through your posts I missed. We finally have one half ripe cherry tomato and lots of green ones coming along. Your tomatoes look yummy! We are still picking apples and enjoying them, too. I love the Bear's artwork! At the end of August I have signed up for a watercolor workshop and am eager to attend. Thanks for the link to his kit. I have not tried the water brushes yet, but my youngest daughter gave me some to try. Cheers for the completed swimming levels for your young bears. I'm glad my mom faithfully took me to Red Cross swimming lessons and I eventually earned the Sr. Life Saving level. The top you are making is beautiful! The Goodman book sounds very interesting. I finished a cozy mystery, and Springtime in Magnolia while I was camping. Thanks for posting :) xx

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