Saturday, August 14, 2010

Daybook July-August :)



Outside my window: Enough with the hot, sticky weather already! This is Michigan, not Houston! ;)

I am thinking ---- I have decided I have to work of thinking only what is really right in front of me or I am going to be in big trouble. :) Too many gi-nourmous tasks (some a possibility, some for sure) face me in the coming weeks and months.
From the schoolroom: First load of school books came this week. New school books always bring a sense of excitement to start school. For about 10 minutes. :) No, I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things. Haven't really been through the books yet, but a quick once- over leaves me impressed.
From the kitchen: While I didn't plant any zucchini, a friend at church was giving some away which made some luscious fried zucchini ( not the best dinner choice when so many around here struggle with weight-- :) and zucchini bread. For me, sometimes I "know" things and then I KNOW them..... for example I read the book "The End of Overeating", (David Kessler) which of course points out that there is an epidemic of obesity in America and the reasons why. But it made me think of how the more...More...MORE mentality of eating has crept into my thinking and cooking over the years. Large and extra portions, abundance = good. I more and more notice that you are barely able to walk a yard in the grocery store without being assaulted by some tempting food ( sometimes it seems all they have are tempting foods there)! There are SO many places to eat and buy food. We just don't really need THAT much to eat. Much less than we think. How to feed my family nutritiously and adequately ( especially for the littlest who are dependent upon me for that) runs through my thoughts lately.

I am reading,watching and listening:

This has definitely been the summer of Kate Atkinson. Her novels are not comedy but are about the only ones I --L(laugh) O (out) L(loud) at. Probably because her humor is wry and British. ;) Latest read and almost favorite ( tie between "Behind the Scenes at the Museum) was "Human Croquet".

Listened to:
1000 Acres by Jane Smiley

This was supposed to be a modern day interpretation of "King Lear". I found it a moving meandering through the disintegration of a family. Where it started, where it ended, and all in between. I am impressed with Jane Smiley as an author. Also read "Private Lives" by her, which was also good.










Watched: Zelary- which was a czech film. It was a lovely story, but sad. 5 stars in my book.


Around the house: Well, this month was a bang up month for re-arranging things with the arrival of Al back to the old homestead. Gabriella moved in with Naomi, George and Jackson came upstairs, Noah, Dylan and Al went downstairs and Jed and Manny moved across the hall. It was a good clean up and clean out. The garden has yielded some great things. Lots of cukes, plenty of sunflowers, cilantro, basil and parsley. 2 green peppers ( one from each plant) which was a dud from a financial standpoint since I paid about 3.50 each for those plants. Tomatoes are starting to ripen in abundance. Sadly, I don't know if our pumpkins and melons will produce as some sort of rot has taken hold of things ( perhaps from all the heat and humidity? a certain insect?). Overall, the garden has been well worth the effort put in.

What we will do this week: Prepare for a family visit. Try to finish some projects as the end of summer looms LARGE! Soccer practices will probably start this week ( sigh :) Hope for some cooler weather so we can enjoy the outdoors!




Virginia

Swimming in the hotel pool was a popular past-time.
American Civil War Museum


Mountains!

We were blessed with a little unexpected trip to Richmond, Va. We were able to travel with Tim on a work project. It is a beautiful and historic place. Funny, we lived about an hour and a half away from Richmond for a year or so and only visited once. And it was for a conference, so I personally didn't tour through it besides the convention center.Oooh it was hot, though. That put a bit of a damper on touristy plans ( ie: I really wanted to visit Jamestown but I am glad I didn't) This estate was called "Maymont" and we had to walk about a half a block to get to the house. Since the thermometer read 102 that short walk was tortuous.
But, a beautiful place. Even the littles were impressed!

G taking a breather! :)


Manny in front of the turtle aquarium at the Maymont Nature Center.
Jackson in front of a statue of his namesake; Stonewall!
St John's Episcopal Church where Patrick Henry gave his famous "Give me Liberty" speech! This neighborhood was particularly charming. Almost like you were stepping back in time.


Streams of consciousness from a mother of 10 who usually can't collect her thoughts and finds commas a nuisance.