Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dust off that Sewing Machine...

I am about to have some Works in Progress here...

Why start just one project...

when it's so much more fun to start three projects?

I'll keep you up to date on the progress.  I have to go find the Owner's Manual for the sewing machine.

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Stack of Books: April's Reads

Here is what my passenger seat looks like when I forget to bring my library bag:

Some of those books had been held for me, some were plucked from the shelves as a happy accident.  The library has two more holds waiting to be picked up this weekend, so I imagine I'll have another fun stack to sort through soon.

Here are the books that I finished during April, with a twitterature-style review followed by my rating out of ten:

This is one novel that is NOT for the kids.  There are many points of view, and at first I struggled with keeping everybody straight, but the narrative tightened up as the story progressed.  By the end, I was shredded. 7 out of 10

Loved this one over coffee.  So many good things to ponder, but best consumed in small doses. 9 out of 10

Plantagenets and Tudors!  Back and forth narratives, main characters with similar names (Kate and Katherine) meant I had to be paying close attention, but an enjoyable story. 7 out of 10

A way to roll my Downton Abbey and my Sherlock preoccupations into one--a postwar detective story.  The second in a series. 8 out of 10

When you have a day and a half to kill, why not spend it with Stephanie Plum?  I don't think she's ever going to decide between Morelli and Ranger, and that's okay. 6 out of 10

That was what I finished in April--there were many skims and perusals as well.  Already for May, I have my first 10 out of 10 for the year.  See you next month.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

April-ish Goals Update

April marked the start of baseball season.  We only have one child who plays baseball, but it is enough to throw the whole schedule off kilter.  Fortunately, some of the kids' other activities are winding down for the year, so life from 4-9pm is becoming slightly more manageable.

Cooking: Try One New Recipe per Month.  This was a big fail.  Most of April's dinners were about making something that could be eaten by part of the family at 4:30 and again by the rest of the family at 8:45.  It wasn't pretty.  But I am trying harder in May.

 Last weekend I sat down with the latest issues of my magazines, and I pulled out four new recipes to try this week, so I'm feeling all Mission Accomplished for May.

Fitness/Health: Go to the Gym Regularly.  I am having two issues with this goal: not getting to do what I want to when I'm at the gym and just getting there in the first place.

 When the kids were little, I'd drop them in the kiddie care at the gym and go about my business.  Now, the girls have taken the orientation classes and they can use the fitness center (i.e. treadmills, bikes, equipment) with me.  Bobby can't take the orientation until he is ten.  Sometimes, we sign the kids in at the pool and let them swim while Rob and I work out in the fitness center.

These plans don't always go smoothly.  The pool might be closed for lessons, or there's not a class for the younger kids to go to, or (and this one is the worst for me) the fitness center is so full that there's not enough equipment for us all to use.  The last few times I have gone in, all the elliptical machines have been taken.  I am going to have to rethink my workouts.

As for just getting there in the first place, I am resorting to the old trick of scheduling.  I have written it into my calendar.  Going at four o'clock is the perfect time because the kids have had enough time to get home and have a snack, and we're back home with plenty of time to get homework done before dinner.

At Home: Print pictures, put them in albums.  Nothing like a trip to Disney to get me motivated to print pictures!  I even printed pictures from last summer's beach trip.  Now they are all in this photo album.  

I'd like to raise the stakes, though.  Our most recent albums have all been of trips and vacations, which is fantastic, but there aren't any candid, not on vacation pictures in the books.  I'm going to charge the batteries and bring the camera out of hiding this month.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Assorted Fun

So I post, and then two-plus weeks go by!  Such is life in the springtime.  What have we been doing?
There were silly pictures before a school dance.

And then there were braces for a soon-to-be-13-year-old!

Baby goats in the middle of all of this seems about right.
 (It was the annual fair at the local college.  There were also baby ducks, baby chicks, and a baby Holstein calf that I really, really wanted to bring home with me.)

And finally, there was a quick trip to Chicago for Rob and me!
And now we're home for the foreseeable future, and there is plenty to be done around here.

There are half-painted rooms to finish up.  Preferably before we start painting other rooms.

The garden has been completely neglected so far this year.  I'm afraid we've missed the window for planting spinach and broccoli, but that means there's more room for tomatoes! 

This is our first year in seven years that we do not have a dance recital.  I'm a little sad about that; I always enjoyed the recitals.

And it's time to start planning a birthday party for a certain young lady.

I'll be back--in less than two-plus weeks--with a goals update.