Saturday, November 19, 2016
This week, I focused on calm, quiet things - home things and family things; small, intentional things. I spent most of my mornings at home, while the small Bears were at school, aside from one morning of errands, which included dropping off my finished cross-stitch sampler at the framing shop. I really enjoyed working with the framer to decide what to do with it. I debated making it girly, as well as giving it a little glitz like I've done with my dark-background stitched pieces lately. In the end, I went with something very simple and classic - natural wood and clean lines. It should be ready before Thanksgiving, and then I'll have to find a good hiding spot. I can't wait to share it here.
I crocheted for the first time since September. I started making a pile of butterflies using cotton yarn. This is such a simple little pattern and I think they're coming out really cute. I'll tell you more about my project soon; it's another Christmas gift for my gal.
Autumn has finally arrived in my neck of the woods and it's wonderful. We're having truly cold nights now - our first hard freeze was Thursday night - and I'm enjoying the crisp, sunny days very much. I enjoy my monsoon season and my tender early-spring evenings, but I love this kind of weather best of all. Yesterday, I sat in the park with some friends, watching our kids on the playground. I wore a sweater but was still just the tiniest bit cold when the breeze picked up. I wrapped my sweater around me a bit tighter and felt a little thrill.
Reading-wise, I've been sticking with cooking and crime, I guess you could say. I've just finished Tana French's new novel, The Trespasser. It was okay, but I didn't like it nearly as much as I've enjoyed most of her other books. I saw the mystery ending at least a hundred pages early. I didn't like the characters at all. I miss Cassie. I got annoyed with the banter. I'm still glad I put myself on the library holds list for it lo these many months ago; it kept me reading in the in-between times, the waiting time, and at bedtime all week. I've just started reading The French Chef in America by Alex Prud'Homme, about Julia Child's career after she left France. It's sort of like a sequel to her own memoir, My Life in France. I really like it so far. I find her so interesting. I've also been flipping through Anthony Bourdain's new book, Appetites, which has been entertaining. It's sort of a compendium of essential recipes to pass along to his young daughter - a family cookbook, if you will. As is to be expected from Bourdain, this book is packed full of potentially unpopular opinions, culinary irreverence and cursing. He's not everyone's cup of tea, but I like him.
I haven't been cooking anything all that interesting myself lately, but there is that big turkey-related holiday coming next week. My menu is planned and I will be shopping tomorrow. I'm kind of dreading the leftovers so I'm going a little bit spare. I'm going to make a pecan pie this year, which has been hit-or-miss for me in the past, but I'm willing to try again. I've already decided to serve asparagus, since I can't get enough of it these past few months. Otherwise, a smallish turkey and a reasonable number of side dishes and life is good.
Last year's amaryllis may actually be coming back, to my sheer amazement. I followed instructions I read in a gardening book from the library (wish I could remember what it was...) for making an amaryllis bulb go dormant for the summer months and come back in the fall. I left the bulb on the buffet in my dining room until early August, then I bundled it into a bag and stashed it under the kitchen sink until last week, when I removed it to find that it was sending up a shoot! There's a lot of green on the bulb too. I've got it in a sunny window now, hoping hard that it will keep growing and give me another beautiful red-and-white bloom at Christmastime.
I'm at two weeks of daily hand- and face-moisturizing. Way to go, me. I can see and feel differences already, even in my old, weather-beaten face, which I was beginning to think might be a lost cause. Because I love to get ahead of myself, I also started taking a multivitamin with added calcium, in light of my family history of osteoporosis. Look out, world - she's maintaining her skin AND her bones!
This weekend finds us mostly at home. The Bear is having a problem with his smoker, which he needs to get figured out before the holiday so he can smoke his half of the turkey (every year, he gives me the breast for oven-roasting and he takes the rest for the smoker). I'm going to work some more on my butterflies while has the GB at her guitar lesson. Mr. LB is with me, doing homework. Tomorrow, after my shopping and laundry are finished, we will have dinner out to celebrate my birthday, which comes mid-week and is the last in this household's birthday season: August-September-September-November, and then comes the holiday season, not to mention the academic milestones, the work victories, the successful medical tests. Celebrate everything; celebrate with all your might.