Hello! Gosh, it's been a while since I had time to sit down and write a blog post. Life has been kind of nuts these past few weeks. Nothing bad, really, aside from the first cold of the school year (in an unwelcome twist, I was the sickest around here, pretty much laid up for about two days). We're settling into the school year and working through some changes, which has been challenging.
So what's new...the LB has graduated from his group guitar lesson after five years and is now taking private lessons with a really fantastic professional guitarist and music educator (he also took some of his group lessons under this same teacher). It's been a big change; we go to this man's house for the lesson once a week and the LB, who was used to fairly cursory practicing at home, is now required to practice at least 30 minutes a day. He did not take all that happily to this at first but is doing much better now. Miss GB continues her group guitar lessons and is back to ballet as well. Both children have had large school projects assigned immediately so we've been very busy juggling school and their activities. (I'm glad they only have one or two activities each. It's plenty. I don't think it's realistic not to do any activities, though; like everything else in life, balance is key). We've also had some major changes at school that we're getting used to.
I think everything will be just fine, but there's a lot of new stuff right now and I'm having a little trouble catching my breath. Needless to say, blogging has kind of gone out the window, both updating my own and reading others' blogs. I'm sorry about that, guys. I plan to keep blogging and will try my best to read and comment on others' blogs, because I really do love everything about the blogging life. I'm just busier than I used to be, especially at the moment.
Photography has fallen by the wayside lately too. I haven't taken many pictures lately, but as usual, I've tried to keep up with the major stuff, which is to say, the small, daily-life stuff - the kind of stuff that keeps me feeling grounded in the midst of the busy periods in life. Here are eight right-now things...
Our apples are ripened and ready to eat. I usually pick one for myself every time I go out to backyard. They're very good apples, even if they are small and often slightly blemished. I'm planning to try something new with them this fall - apple butter! I've never made it before but we love to eat it. I made jelly with our apples two years ago and it was good at first, but after only a few weeks in the jar it changed consistency and turned dark. It was unappetizing. So this year, in addition to the planned pies and crisps, as well as the inevitable applesauce and fruit leather when they get a little older, I'm going to attempt apple butter. I've been asked whether we spray our apple tree and the answer is no way! We don't use pesticides or weed killers anywhere in the yard.
I bought myself a new pair of shoes. They're just inexpensive faux-suede ballet flats but they're comfy and cute. I've never had red shoes before. These had silly little metal dangly things tied into the bows; I cut them off with a little pair of wire nippers and I like them even better now.
I also bought myself some vintage beaded necklaces from an Etsy shop called OldMemoreez. Courtney has some really cool and interesting vintage jewelry for sale. I chose these three necklaces (which are all long, by the way, each 24-30 inches), for their bright colors. The beads are plastic but they look and feel very much like old Bakelite beads; these were probably a lot less expensive but still cute and colorful.
If you follow me on Instagram (where I have also fallen off posting lately, oops), you've seen these crocheted goodies already. They're a hot dog and cheeseburger! I have one more to make, for a set of three. I'm keeping mum for now about why I'm making them, but they've been so much fun! I'll tell you more soon.
I haven't worked on my crocheted Choro top at all for weeks now. I was hoping to have it finished to wear this fall but it may not happen. Ah well, maybe for spring. I was finding it rather frustrating last I worked on it, but that's a good thing because I'm learning something new. I hope to have some progress to share soon, but in the meantime, it sits a bit forlornly on top of my sewing basket, on my desk.
I'm really enjoying homeschool with the LB lately. He's in fifth grade now and doing a lot of very interesting things. He is currently preparing a presentation on the Nineveh Flood Tablet, a clay writing about a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh from ancient Mesopotamia; the Flood Tablet describes another version of the Biblical flood story. I've been helping him and learning a lot myself. I'm helping him with study skills too. And helping him learn to appreciate highlighters as much as I do - look at that baby, it can practically glow in the dark.
I started a new magazine subscription, to Real Simple. Have you ever read this magazine? It's so good. I'm on my second issue now. I'd gotten a really good offer (I think because I already subscribe to Martha Stewart Living). This one is full of very practical advice about so many subjects. I can always use advice. I love the style of it, pared-down and not full of glamorous models, just healthy, smart ideas for living, a magazine for grown-ups, I think.
We have had so many rainbows in the past few weeks. It's just incredible. I know I share a lot of rainbows here but they make me happy whenever we have them. And look at the bushes just right of center at the bottom of my photo - orange berries! Those are pyracanthas and the berries changing means fall is soon to be here. I can't wait. August has been a lovely month, weather-wise, though. Lots of rain and lots of rainbows, I really can't complain.