Tuesday Playlist

We are on the early boat to Nantucket and I’ve got many, many portable chargers ready to go for the two hour ferry ride and island day.  It’s going to be a busy day of beaches, dunes, meet-ups, and eating. My go to playlist is this super long, continuously evolving list of songs rediscovered via Sirius XM’s First Wave channel. Earbuds in, coffee in hand, and just relaxing on an early morning ferry.

Summer Reading

I think my summer book stack is getting a little large. And it doesn’t include the teaching-related books I have waiting to be ready before school begins in August! But since our Cape Cod trip is upon us, I thought I’d share what I’ve got pegged for fun reading. (Also, I just learned how to make blog collages and was looking for a reason to make one.)

Summer House / Flight of the Sparrow

The Rumor / The Guest Room 

The Beguiled / The Whale: A Love Story

Summer Playlist

It’s laundry and cleaning day here so I’m needing some extra motivation to keep going. What I really want to do is dive into my book (post coming tomorrow) or park myself down at the beach but I really, really have my work cut out for me around the house. My mind is totally focused on Cape Cod (and a trip to Nantucket!) so a little beach music is just what I need.

Wednesday WIP, Books, and a Playlist

I really miss those Yarn Alongs that included what we were all reading so I’m going to just try to keep it going here.  I’m always looking for a good books to add to my Goodreads queue so if you’ve read something you loved, leave comments or add me to your Friends on Goodreads.

I finished On the Rocks last week and LOVED it. It had a definite Elin Hildebrand vibe to it, transported to Newport instead of Nantucket. I love both spots so it worked for me either way.  I kept asking my husband if the guy’s character was accurate (read the book to find out) and he agreed it was.  I was sorry I finished it, truth be told.

I just finished reading Thirteen Reasons Why. It had been on my To Read list for a while after Leslie Ann had posted about it a while ago. My daughter watched the show on Netflix and loved it, too. Being the English major I am, I had to read the book before I watched the show. Actually, we all got an email from the Superintendent of Schools about the show and how some parents were concerned it romanticized suicide. I’m guessing they never read the book.  Not seeing much romanticizing going on.

So today’s fresh start read is Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown. I’m on page 4 of this Early American story set in the Massachusetts Bay Colony but I have a good feeling about it thus far. It centers on a Native American abduction of a colonist, real life Mary Rowlandson, and her adaptation to her life in captivity. My own ancestors were killed and/or abducted in the attack  on Fort Seybert in West Virginia (James Dyer is my 5th Great Grandfather) so it has an added bit of interest for me.  Hopefully it will be a good book.

Now onto my Wednesday WIP…I’m wrapping up the third color in my Find Your Fade Shawl (Ravelry page here).  I’m not sure how I feel about that first golden color, but I love the white pops further in.  It’s taking a very, very long time to do this even though it’s mostly garter stitch and a small amount of (easy) lacework.  I’m thinking of what I’m going to wear this with because the colors are a huge departure from my normal colors but I can’t wait to wrap up in it in the middle of a cold New England winter.

. . .

As promised, as I was walking the neighborhood with the dog this morning, I was listening to music and decided to make a playlist of summery/Fourth of July tunes. Warning: This is meant to satisfy the varied tastes of my family and our visiting exchange student. Hope you enjoy!

Menu Monday

I’m joining in at Organizing Junkie this week to keep myself on track with home cooking healthy meals. One thing I’ve noticed since I started regular exercise is that I am starving, which makes it much too easy to grab the wrong thing.

We also got our first CSA share last week so you’ll see a lack of vegetables listed. We’re eating them, but most of it is on the fly depending on what is in the box. This week’s share included bok choy, radishes, beets, kale, green lettuce (not iceberg), scallions, broccoli rabe, and strawberries. Our next pick up is Thursday so we’ll see what we get. 🙂

We’ve got a lot going on this week between a Rotary raffle, installation dinner, committee meeting, night out on the town, and our Rotary Youth Exchange visitor coming from Brazil to stay with us for the summer! Phew – that’s a lot for one week. Who said teachers rest during the summer?

Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs

Tuesday: dinner out/meeting for me

Wednesday: Beef Stew/dinner out

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken and Black Beans over mixed greens from the CSA (recipe here)

Friday: Homemade pizza (here is a great pizza “recipe” if you’re like me and watching what you eat)

Saturday: TBD

Sunday: BBQ Welcome Dinner

You Win Some, You Lose Some

If you have read this blog for any brief amount of time, then you probably know two of my favorite things are yarn and books.  This summer I decided to join an online bookclub hosted by Leslie Anne at the blog LaLa Life. We’ve been friends over on GoodReads for a while so I knew we had similar reading tastes.  Anyhow, there was a poll that took place a couple of weeks ago and this book won…

Now, I don’t want to say this is a terrible book.  It got fairly ok reviews. But for me? Nope. I made it about 40% of the way through and just couldn’t feign interest any longer. It was supposed to be about a single mom who moved to the Hamptons to be with this guy she barely knows and she gets caught up in the lifestyle of the Hamptons although, as far as I can tell, said boyfriend is sleazy and she’s really attracted to the local guy. Meanwhile the quintessential rich Manhattan/Hamptons family is totally dysfunctional, with daughter and wife sleeping around, son has a drug problem, and dad is suffering some sort of insufferable midlife crisis.  All this while the old guard wants to shut down a summer camp. So honestly, if there was eventually going to be a streamlined plot I’ll never know because it was just horrible.

So I dropped it. I hate quitting books because I always wonder if it really did get good and I am missing a great story. It’s on my Kindle so if I am ever desperate want to give it another chance, I can read it.

I moved on to On the Rocks which was another choice in the book club (and the one I voted for) and I will be completely honest: it’s set in Newport. That was pretty much the key for me. However, this story of a woman whose fiancé drops her via Facebook as she’s trying on her wedding dress is, so far, pretty darn good. Definitely a good beach read.

Moving on to Summer

I’ve been debating if this really IS the first weekend of summer since most of it was spent fretting over school and cleaning/packing up my classroom.  In the end, however, I decided it still counted because there would be no commute into school on Monday. I’ve stepped away from blogging for a variety of reasons but, in truth, I think it was stress and anxiety that caused most of the silence. This has been a tremendously difficult year and one that has left me reeling. I have been counting down to the end of school since January – and not in an exaggerated, dramatic way. I literally would not have made it through if I hadn’t kept my eye on the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

I’m looking forward rather than backward, and so I’m resurrecting this old blog.

Where is a Three Day Weekend When You Need One?

Truly, I believe that time passes nearly instantly from when I lock my classroom door on Friday and unlock it on Monday. I have another four day work week (yay!) so I am burning the nearly midnight oil working on lesson plans. Goodness it is much too much trouble to miss one measly day of school.  The countdown to summer, however, is most definitely ON.

This weekend was spent working around the house and working on school projects. Maia has a family tree due in Spanish so she’s been more interested than usual in my genealogy files. It’s given me a chance to sort through some old family photos which always makes me swoon.

Our kitchen is in the middle of a little rehab so meals have been at the whim of our contractor. There haven’t been major renovations…yet…but we’ve been updating some wall color, electrical wiring, etc. All of which means that the crockpot is retired, probably through the rest of the spring and summer, and best laid plans are disrupted.  Oh, and I’m a food rut. That being said, if all goes to plan, this is what’s on tap for this week’s menu:

Sunday – a break in the weather means steaks on the grill and baked potatoes

Monday – twice baked, crab stuffed potatoes (recipe here)

Tuesday – parmesan garlic spaghetti (recipe here)

Wednesday – honey dijon chicken breasts (recipe here)

Thursday – breakfast for dinner 🙂 {aka what will get cooked on whichever day my kitchen is a disaster}

Friday – out

Saturday – out

In the Kitchen

We have a long stretch of time at home (we often go away for long weekends) so we are making a concerted effort to eat at home. Argh, not my favorite thing, cooking, but I’m still trying. Yesterday I made a big lasagna for lunch which was mostly gone afterwards and what was left I sent home with my mother. I didn’t take a single photo but Greyson did a nice job cleaning up while I rested my foot. The lasagna is nothing fancy and a far cry from what my mother used to make, but I love it and I’ll probably make it a few times in the next month because I have four boxes of lasagna noodles. Not sure why that is. Anyway, I don’t use the turkey sausage, but pork, because I’m the only person who likes turkey sausage but either way is delicious.

 

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I’m also still steeping my Fire Cider. The garlic is turning blue so I have to see if that’s normal, but I am looking forward to being able to use it. I’m feeling 80% like my old self, but my sinuses are still a mess.

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Ok, so this week’s menu ~

Monday – Breakfast for Dinner

Tuesday – Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Taco Salad

Wednesday – Spaghetti & Italian Sausage

Thursday – Baked Pork Chops & Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Friday – (First Friday in Lent) Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Saturday – Slow Cooker Pot Roast

 

Weekending

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It’s been a quiet weekend so I thought I’d join Karen today. Sadly, it went much too fast. On Friday, my son was in Hartford at the State House with other kids who are participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange. He is the only out-bound student (meaning he is going abroad next year) from our district so he has been able to spend a lot of time with the in-bound kids spending their school year in the U.S. He’s been able to forge friendships with kids from Italy, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Taiwan, and Thailand. After their trip, I joined them for dinner and the Harlem Globetrotters in Bridgeport while my husband took our daughter and a friend to the middle school dance.

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Saturday was just a lot of running around trying to get things done and so nothing terribly exciting. We did go out to dinner at a new-to-us restaurant in Milford, Connecticut. The food was delicious and they have my favorite meal of cavatelli, sausage and broccoli rabe. I kept half of it for lunch on Monday because it was just too much to eat all at once. We have only a couple of substitute teachers at school so, on days like Thursday and Friday, we often help with lunch periods.

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Often, we only find out right before lunch so it makes having a hot lunch difficult so I ordered a small crockpot for lunches. When it became clear we may be doing a few lunch periods, I thought it was time because I’d been looking at this for months. So tomorrow my leftovers are going in this to warm up all morning. My level teachers and I take turns for lunch periods and I had Friday but just in case…

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As I was wrapping up the Giants socks, I started thinking about wrapping and/or packaging. After being my somewhat constant companions for so long, I thought these socks needed a little extra touch. I found this printable sheet of labels on Pinterest so I could quickly write the care instructions for handknit socks since they are going to a single guy.

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I am back to having only one project going, although I think I may need to throw in another pair of socks for myself.  I haven’t really gotten much work done (meaning, none) on those socks I’d planned knitting this year. I really do love knitting socks, even if I do complain much more than I should.

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For now I’m concentrating on my sugar swirls blanket for a soon to be born baby girl. I’m hoping it will be an easy knit although right now I’ve done two rows of k3tog tbl and it’s been requiring all my focus. Oh, and I got a spiffy new project bag from madderroot, located up in Maine. Llamas and alpacas are kind of a big deal in my house.

My foot has been acting up, after a few days of a horrible migraine, so I’m taking this Sunday evening slow and just knitting and reading. Maybe doing some extra lesson planning after dinner.

How was your weekend?

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