Saturday, July 30, 2016
Summer, this week
This was our ninth week of summer break.
With swimming lessons and the library's summer reading program over, we spent most of the week close to home, which wasn't a bad thing at all. I wouldn't say we've had a terribly busy summer, but calm, unscheduled days at home are always welcome in my book.
It rained a fair amount this week and I enjoyed watching the sky change as storms rolled in. With the monsoon, you just never know where a storm will hit. It could be storming a mile away and dry where you are, but it's still nice to see the clouds gather. This coming week should be even better for storms and I'm looking forward to it.
I started crocheting my Choro Top. It's going well enough, but I have a long way to go. I kept running into one obstacle after another when I was trying to start; I needed a bigger hook than I already had, then I realized I also needed one bigger than that to make the foundation chain properly. I had to wait for both hooks to arrive, separately, well after the yarn was delivered. Then I had some confusion with the pattern, which took me a while to work out. I like it, though. I don't how wearable it will be (it's looking a bit schmatte so far, but it's early days), but I'm happy to be trying. I loooove the yarn (Knitpicks Comfy Worsted), by the way. It's a cotton-acrylic blend and feels so soft and light in my hands. I wish I'd discovered it sooner.
My pirate ship cross-stitch is finished! I'm not sharing a photo today because I plan to show you the finished, framed piece soon, but I'm really happy with it and I think it's going to look good in its intended spot in the family room.
This summer has been really hard on my flowers. The roses would normally be on at least their third good bloom by now if we'd had the normal amount of rain during July. We water them regularly, but it's not the same. I've missed having flowers to bring in; nothing else is blooming well this summer either. I bought myself a bouquet at Trader Joe's to compensate. It has a big sunflower, several orange lilies, greenish-white chysanthemums, purple alstroemeria and pink-tipped ivory roses. Very cheerful and bright. It was a big bouquet so I separated it into two smaller bunches for different parts of the kitchen. I've been enjoying them so much, especially the sunflower. I put that bouquet next to the kitchen sink, where it makes washing dishes just slightly nicer.
We made our own peanut butter! I know, you're falling off your chair with excitement. We had some salted un-shelled peanuts that were getting a little stale so we shelled them and put all the nuts through our Wondermill Jr. It made really good peanut butter, a little bit too salty, but a good texture and very nice with my homemade raspberry jam. We've decided to make PB&J's with the next loaf of bread baked by the Bear, so the whole sandwich will be homemade. #selfsufficiencygoals
The Bear painted a little country house scene in acrylic. I love his paintings so much. I appreciate your compliments on them in previous posts. He loves to paint and draw. I try to show off his work here. He's modest but he appreciates the nice things you've said.
Our homeschooling has continued all summer, though I haven't really mentioned it here - just trying to keep things summery and light, I guess. But we've had daily math, music and art, in addition to lots of reading. Both small Bears entered writing contests this summer. The LB entered a contest through the State of New Mexico, sort of a "why I love NM" contest, and the GB entered one through PBS Kids and the local public TV station. Her contest asked for a creative-writing piece complete with illustrations. Both worked very hard and are eager to learn the results. We've also enjoyed playing a game of our own creation called Math Orb. This involves being asked math questions and getting to take a shot with the Nerf basketball and hoop in our family room. You have to get three in a row correct to have a chance to shoot. I play too; they're more apt to get shots than I am.
School starts in less than two weeks. So far, we've ticked haircuts and new shoes off our to-do list. School supplies remain; I've only heard from one of two teachers so far. I really hope this is our week to hear from her because the school supply section at Target was already looking post-apocalyptic when we went there for the shoes.
Thank you for your comments lately, particularly your replies to my questions about cookbooks. I loved reading about your collections, as well as your preferred styles of cooking and eating. I just adore knowing more about how people do these everyday things and what makes their households run more smoothly or enjoyably. I noticed several replies from new commenters and I just wanted to say hello and welcome, I'm really glad you stopped by and I hope you'll stick around. I'm always interested in reading new blogs, so if you have one, would you please leave a link?
I hope you're having a good weekend. It's a chill one for us, just doing things around the house and looking forward to whatever storminess the afternoon and evening might bring. We all love our summer storms around here. Last evening, a huge one rolled through while I was cooking dinner. The Bear came home from work around the same time; he'd been worried about what he was driving into, having seen a bolt of lightning flash clear across the whole sky. It was good to be at home together, to shut the door and stay inside. Later, there was a double rainbow, a gorgeous sight between us and the mountain. Lucky us, with our rainbows after almost every storm.