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.

22 comments:

  1. It seems like yesterday you started your summer break and yet already it is coming to an end time is certainly flying by. The bouquet was beautiful, I too loved the sunflower. I was also impressed with the Bears painting, it reminded me of a cottage from my childhood where we stayed in Stratford on Avon. Enjoy the rest of the Summer.

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  2. You have a magical touch with your writing Jennifer, your summer sounds wonderful. I love unscheduled days at home as well. That yarn is gorgeous, a really rich summer berry colour. I bet the homemade peanut butter's lovely. Homemade is always better. Love the Bear's painting again, nice job. Hope you have a good Sunday. CJ xx

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  3. A new word 'schmatte' which I had to look up. Although I'm sure knowing your skill that the finished sweater will look amazing and I agree with CJ that the colour is gorgeous. Your days sound so relaxed Jennifer and it is such a pleasure to drop by. I've just read your cookbook post and looked at the comments. I have my mother's paperback copies of Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course from the 1970s which I love because they have my mum's notes and adaptations pencilled in the margins. (I do this too.) I'd sort of forgotten but my husband's first wife worked on the TV shows that accompanied the cookery course. I vaguely remember a very prim and proper Delia, a far cry from the coyness of Nigella. I probably should register my favourite cookbooks on your actual post but right now I'm working my way through a library copy of Anna Jones' "A Modern Way To Cook" (really excellent vegetarian recipes which encourage you to adapt and substitute) and as always in the summer I find I'm constantly referring to Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.

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  4. enjoyed reading this!!! I made soft tacos (no recipe though) this week and it felt like inching towards the right direction - I really want to get back to cooking and backing more! I am dreaming of baking bread again - even just the simple 'no knead bread'.... this weekend has been good so far for us; Husband finally got the taxes done!!! (flu in March = 2.5 months behind on things) ... I am seeing a friend for the first time in years on Monday and I hope to make chicken baked in cream for lunch with her! That will be fun!

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  5. i love rainbows. oh and i so wish i could crochet - the oumie has promised to get me going on granny squares as soon as i go on maternity leave - so i am looking forward to that. your salad looks absolutely delicious.. so very summery, im looking forward to summer. i think i may be done with winter. have a beautiful week ahead.

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  6. Sounds like such a relaxing, summer-holiday week. You have had a great summer Jennifer x

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  7. We've had so little rain that only the weeds are thriving. Can't wait to see your finished top. Drawing and painting are so relaxing. I need to start doing some before I forget how. You should be proud of your husband's work.

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  8. What a lovely summer break.Love reading your posts.

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  9. Your summers sounding lovely,enjoy the storms
    Clare x

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  10. I've enjoyed your summer posts.. it's amazing to me that summer is already 2/3s over! What? I loved your husband's painting.. good for him to be taking the time to paint. I'm always drawn to artwork that has homes or barns in them. Enjoy your next two weeks! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  11. I've really enjoyed your summer posts, Jennifer. Enjoy your storms! :o)

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  12. Your photos of Summer are gorgeous ♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  13. The more I read about your summer the more I want to spend my next one with you. I really do! Enjoy the last two weeks, hopefully with all the school stuff organised soon. xx

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  14. Your Summer storms look a lot like the tropical storms we have here (if we get a good wet season). It sounds like you have not had much rain, if the roses are unhappy; ours do the same thing. They really like plenty of sun, and rain too. Your Choro top is looking pretty, and I hope it all works out well for you. Great sunflowers!

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  15. I just love hearing what's going on with your family every week. All of you are so talented! I'm normally not much of a PB&J fan but with homemade bread, peanut butter and jam, I would be! :-)

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  16. Hey Jennifer,
    If it's any consolation, my flowers haven't fared well this summer. All the sunflowers were eaten. I could have wept. We have been away for five days, and I am really looking forward to a pottering week here. Some diy, nice walks with Honey, beach fun. Can't wait! Have a lovely week.
    Leanne xx

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  17. Oh I really love your husbands painting x

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  18. What a lovely summer. I feel quite calm and relaxed just reading about yours. We've only just started our summer holidays. Fun idea to make peanut butter. Need to give that a go. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

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  19. Hi Jennifer! I so enjoy reading about your summer. It sounds so happy, relaxed and "homey". Just the right environment to be raising your little bears in. I apologize if I've missed any posts. My internet at the lake is hit and miss. I'm trying to keep up, but I fear that I've fallen behind. I'm looking forward to seeing your ship in all of it's framed glory soon!
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  20. Your summer sounds wonderful. I too would love to join you. I am looking forward to those lazy, chilling days in August, July has been busy so I am ready for a rest now!

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  21. Although I haven't made peanut butter at home, I go to a store that lets you use their machines for grinding peanuts or almonds and I prefer the fresh ground nut butter. To me, it is not necessary to add sugar or oil to make the butter spread or be more tasty, although I do often add some sea salt when serving it. I am living in one of the moderate climates I have ever lived in and while I do not miss tornadoes at all, I do miss rousing thunderstorms rolling through on a regular basis. I'm glad you have been safely enjoying them :) xx

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  22. I really want to make peanut butter now I've read this. I like the sound of your summer so much, of everything you do. I'm so impressed that you've managed daily learning - I feel like our holiday has been quite fragmented and chaotic so far, I would love some more quiet home days.

    Your storms sound awesome by the way. x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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