Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer, this week

This was our second week of summer break, 2017.

I see now that I need to remember to take more photos in my summer weeks. Of food, especially. It seems like I'm always cooking, serving or cleaning up after meals now that my children are home all day.

We started swimming lessons. We went every morning in the week and we'll go every morning this week too. The pool is...well, the pool. Nothing ever really changes up there. I sit under the tree, I read a little (it can be difficult to focus on a book depending on who's nearby), I chat with other parents and family members. I've known some of them for years; babies have become school-aged children in the time I've sat under that tree at the pool!

It's really hot now. May was surprisingly cool and somewhat wetter than usual, but June has taken care of that. The swamp cooler runs day and night. I try to do all my household chores in the early morning. The swimsuits and towels dry in no time flat on the clothesline after we return from the pool.

We're in the middle of some DIY renovation in the main bathroom. The vanity top and porcelain sink were in really bad shape so we bought a new all-in-one vanity top, the kind with an integrated sink bowl. The countertop is a nice, light-colored Corian and the sink is white. We bought a new faucet, light fixture, and towel holders too, all in brushed-nickel finish. And we'll be painting the walls. We hadn't had a major headache home improvement project in what, a few weeks, so we went and found ourselves a new one. Any excuse to go back and forth to Lowe's three times a day.

My repaired dryer is actually making me really happy. I didn't realize how poorly it had been working before it finally gave up. Clothes are drying much faster now.

On the subject of laundry, I got a great deal on Tide this week. My goal is eight cents a load. I only manage to do this a couple of times a year, through a perfect storm of store sales, manufacturer's coupons and other discounts, but when I do, wheeee! It's a rush. Seriously.

The Bear and I went to Which Wich for lunch yesterday, after our second trip to Lowe's. The children were spending some time with their grandparents, enabling us to shop and work, so we took advantage and stopped for lunch. It was just sandwiches but it was nice to eat a meal out, and alone with him. I saved half of my club sandwich for today. Lately, I've been eating a lot of PB&J's and cheese slices with my usual lunchfellows.

The GB started her summer ballet class. It's rigorous, which will be really good for her. She will go back in the fall with new skills. 

I finished one book, I Found You by Lisa Jewell. Do you like her books? This is her newest novel. I really enjoy her books, which are mostly mysteries. Her characters are very believable and the dialogue is good. This book involves a man with amnesia, which seems like a tired plot device, but it's a good story and it kept me guessing.

In the yard, new things are happening. Nicotiana is in full bloom, evenings and mornings only. The hibiscuses are just getting their swirly cage-like buds; there should be flowers in about three weeks. I pruned back the second rosebush bloom and am now watching the third bloom just beginning to unfold. We cut back the nandinas, which had become very overgrown. One of them is right behind my clothesline on the back porch. Isn't it lucky how we keep finding ways to make sure I can stay on the laundry?

I've been working on my Maybelle squares again. It's so nice to be back in the crochet habit after a few weeks away. I've just started my fifth of nine colors! I'm nearly halfway through making the squares for this blanket. 

The Bear took the small ones on a hunt for obsidian, in a place where he knows you can find it, and they came home with a big bagful of interesting pieces. They washed and dried them and have been studying them all week. I don't know what we'll do with it, but even I have to admit it's really cool stuff.

This week, we'll be back to the pool and we'll go to a couple of library events for kids. Today, in between whatever I can help with in the bathroom, I have plans to bake with Miss GB, and later I will roast a chicken. It's hot for the oven to be on, but the leftovers will come in handy for the Bear's lunches this week. I'm making lists for a camping trip later this month. So far, I have: s'mores ingredients, hot dogs, buns, ketchup. That should be plenty, right?


  1. Amazing obsidian, the colour of blueberries. I like the look of the book, I shall keep an eye out for it, or maybe order it from the library. I have a little pile of library books here already that I ought to read first though. The outdoor pool looks blissful, especially with the mountain in the background. What a dramatic place you live in. Have you always lived there, or did you move from elsewhere in the US? I always like to see pictures of the scenery and the mountains, such great views. I'm hopeless at photographing food. Everyone is always in too much of a hurry to eat it round here. We ate a whole delicious birthday cake the other day without so much as a snap. Hope you have a lovely week. Glad GB's ballet is going well. CJ xx

  2. Another busy week for you and yours, Jennifer. :o)

  3. It's interesting that you still use your dryer when it's warm and sunny outside. No judgement from me - it use my tumble dryer as much as the next person - but I wondered if it's too hot and the clothes just bake rock hard? I love the smell of air dried washing, although I don't appreciate the look of it strung all over my garden. Hey, it seems I'm as consumed by laundry as you!

    That open air pool looks heavenly. I could jump straight in. X

    1. Actually, you're exactly right, Gillian. I don't mind it for towels and bathing suits, but in general, I find that clothing gets too hard and stiff dried outdoors in this climate. I much prefer to use the dryer with a fabric softener sheet for most things, especially clothes and sheets. :)

  4. It sounds like you have plenty going on, swimming lessons are so important and it must be lovely for your little bears to be in the water in your hot weather xx

  5. It sounds like a fun and busy week for you Jennifer. I well remember the days of having littles at home. Busy but very satisfying. Laundry is all-consuming with a family isn't it? I'm glad to see that you're enjoying your crochet again and...a new bathroom! That's always fun and exciting. I hope the next week is peaceful and full of fun at your home.

  6. lots of good things here! I am glad for you!

  7. Summer is looking beautiful there! It is very hot here, and supposed to be near 100 tomorrow. It won't last long though.

  8. The lovely mountain appears at the pool, too! Everything looks beautiful in New Mexico. Big smile about the headache, he he. Happens to us too, just went through a 10 week marathon of getting two new screen doors. Oh, the hassles we had.. Only one project at a time in this house, or I go crazy. The obsidian looks really interesting, and I can imagine how the kids would be fascinated. Enjoy the hols, Jennifer.

  9. Your summer weeks sound delightful, lots of things going on but plenty of time for relaxation too. I had a combined washer and dryer but the dryer was rubbish and I much prefer line dried laundry so when it eventually stopped working I replaced it with a washer only and did away with the drier. It's a pain in winter as I have to dry everything on the clothes horse but I wouldn't have used it in summer anyway. It's roast chicken for us tonight too, Eleanor arrived home yesterday for the summer so I'm cooking her favourite meal for her.

  10. It looks like you've enjoyed lovely week of holidays. I sounds like utter bliss to me. I miss the outdoor pool, it is just not the right climate for it here in Scotland. When I was little, we practically lived at the pool during the summer... I much prefer line dried laundry and only use the drier when I have no other choice. Our drier is so old, it probably uses as much energy as a small town in the winter :-)
    Obsidian hunting sounds like a great thing to do when on holiday. It looks so pretty, too. Your camping list sounds about right. I'd probably add a few cans of beer for the cooler to your list. I can't imagine camping when it is actually warm... we always have to take dozens of blankets, hot water bottles, wooly jumpers and hats.... Enjoy this week. x

  11. Sounds like a great summer holiday, love the idea of swimming everyday. We would have to go to an indoor pool here the climate is just not suitable for outdoor swimming. Which is why we can hang our washing out to dry, it dries in no time with the wind we have all the time and comes in smelling divine. Have a great day.

  12. It all sounds and looks great - I love your shopping list! I also really enjoyed reading about what's blooming in your garden, and seeing the photographs. Wishing you all the best for next week.

  13. It was cool with showers the last few days of camping on the east side of Mt. Hood, and as I am typing to you it is still cool with showers here at home. Your second week of summer post has warmed up my thinking at least :) As a child we had no dryer so hanging the clothes outside was the norm. We ironed the pillowcases and sheets to soften them, but towels were always stiff and rough as I remember. When my husband asked me what I would like as a wedding gift from him when we first married, I told him I wanted a washer and dryer which he generously bought and maintained until they finally had to be replaced midway through our 38 years of marriage...a wonderful investment! Send some heat our way, please, and I hope you have a happy third week of summer! xx

  14. Sounds wonderful and idyllic.
    Things have heated up here too.. making fasting so much more difficult.
    Our summer break starts in two weeks.. that is also when Ramadan ends.. I can not wait.
    again yay on the working dryer!
    something target has these deals where if you buy two detergents you get a $5 gift card.. I like stocking up then

  15. Love reading your holiday news. Looking forward to your crochet progress. You are right, there always seems much more time in the kitchen in the school holidays. You are doing a sterling job. Jo xxxx


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