Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What I'm into--July 2013

I am joining Anne in linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I've been into for July.

reading:  I will be linking up with Anne on the 15th for the Twitterature updates.  I have read seven books in July, and I am currently reading two books right now.

We are going away next week with my husband's mother, sisters, and their families, and the four of us ladies have decided to read the same book while we're on the beach. We chose The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan.  My mother-in-law and I have also read Maine by this author.  I am looking forward to a shared reading experience because most of my reading is solitary.  It will be nice to be able to discuss a story as we're reading it.  I am also going to pack a few other books in my bag.  There will be some nonfiction reads as well as Cuckoo's Calling.

tv/movies:  With our regular shows on hiatus, there really is nothing we are watching right now.  I have been watching reruns of The Mindy Project, and I am enjoying it.  I may move it into the DVR recording schedule in the fall. We experimented with Netflix earlier this summer, but Rob and I could not find any series that we wanted to commit to watching.  We only watched a couple of the new episodes of Arrested Development, and that was the reason we tried Netflix in the first place.  I have been reading instead of channel surfing this summer, so I consider that a win.

And movies?  The family went to see Monsters University this summer, and that has been it.

music:  I have been desperately searching for new music.  My kids love to commandeer the radio when we drive around town, and the radio makes me crazy because it seems that the stations only play the same six songs over and over and over.  We are going to be taking a long family drive together soon, so I hit the library in search of some tunes to take with us because even our tried-and-true road trip CDs are getting old.  Bobby requested some Beatles, so I picked up a couple of CDs, and I have discovered Punch Brothers and Kurt Vile.  I don't know whether Rob will like them, and I expect the kids to complain, but we have to have something else to listen to besides Maroon 5 and Robin Thicke.

things I am loving right now:
moleskine notebooks
school supply displays
eating dinner outside
walking the dog around the neighborhood in the mornings
eating ice cream cones
sleeping on freshly changed sheets

So how about you?  What are you into?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Finished Objects

Last weekend, our church hosted a shower for our Associate Pastor's new baby girl.  The baby was born in early June, and we were all delighted to meet her and to shower her with gifts.

As soon as I knew that this shower was taking place, I pulled out the yarn stash and got to knitting.  This is a waffle weave dishcloth pattern.  It makes a beautiful washcloth that will hold up nicely over years of washing.

One day while I was searching for something, I ran across a stack of squares leftover from my Sparkle Plenty quilt.  My first thought was to make a baby quilt.  Here it is:

I quilted lines at varying distances.  Occasionally I put in a heart.

The parents were tickled pink!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Stack of Books: June's Reads

I have six books this month--I am definitely in summer mode!  I have also noticed that most of the books I finish and write about here tend to be graded at least seven out of ten or higher.  I think that is because I will abandon a book if I'm not enjoying it. Why suffer through a three or a four if I don't have to? 

On to the books:

Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson. 9 out of 10.  A delight.  Reminiscent of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.  England, Post-World War I, a small village.  What's not to love?

Pastors' Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen.  Seven out of ten.  I learned about this author through Gretchen Rubin's website.  I liked it okay.  I wanted more from the characters.

Deconstructing Penguins by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone.  Seven out of ten.  Nonfiction book on how to discuss literature with children. There were some great suggestions of titles to add to the kids' summer reading list.  Wish my kids could be receptive to some structured discussion.

Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers.  Eight out of ten.  When Lord Peter Wimsey met Harriet Vane...
The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson.  Seven out of ten.  This is the first in a series.  Modern day lawyer has his offices at 221B Baker Street and receives letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes.  I like the premise. This one was slow to get rolling, but improved as it went along.  I've already read the next in the series and it is growing on me.

The Three Weissmans of Westport by Cathleen Schine. Five out of ten.  A modern Sense and Sensibility.  Take it or leave it---I'd probably leave it.

So there was the June reading.  I'm already on my fourth book for July, and I have a stack from the library about five books high, so the rest of July's reading is already planned.  For August, I'll set the goal of reading some books about writing, and possibly reading an Ann Patchett novel that I have not yet read. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Goals Update from June

I know I'm a broken record, but I can't believe another month has already finished!

As you scroll through the post, you can see that I am taking pictures...I just haven't had any printed out in a while.  There's a summer project for me!

Fitness:  Not happening at the gym, at least for the summer.  I am going to be content with walking the dog around the neighborhood for now.

 Reading/blurbing:  still going strong.  Will post the blurbs around the 15th.

New Recipes:  Totally nailed this one.  Here's what we tried new:
Chicken Francaise (epicurious): the restaurant favorite, just as good at home
Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken (Dinner A Love Story): going into the rotation.  Actually just going to start putting yogurt on everything because it's so tasty, but I digress.

 Fried chicken with Spicy Raspberry Honey (Good Housekeeping): I don't usually love raspberries, but this spicy honey was the bomb.
Ice Box Cake (Good Housekeeping): it's a dessert, but it was so pretty!  Definitely too big for just us.  It's a showstopper for a party, though.

 Strawberry and Arugula Salad with Manchego Fricos (Better Homes and Gardens): pretty good, but I really didn't have enough balsamic to really get the full effect.  Will probably make again.
Grilled Romaine Salad with Tomato & Corn Tumble (Better Homes and Gardens): summer on a plate.  Definitely making again.
 Some of our Summer Goals include going to the beach frequently, reading as much as I possibly can, and having a picnic dinner.
 I haven't decided whether I am going to enter this year's Grange Fair.  The booklet came in the mail last week.
 I have two shawls I'm working on.  One I started last year; the other I started last month.  I hope to have them finished by the time the weather turns. Although it would also be nice to have at least one of them to fend off chill of overzealous air conditioners.  Slow and steady is the motto for the knitting.
Enjoy the Fourth of July this week!  Happy Summer!