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!

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.

Menu Monday, er, Tuesday

I hope everyone had a great Fourth. We had family visiting so we packed in a lot in just three short days. Although, really, most of it was at the beach.  For two nights, our beaches here in town, down the CT shoreline and across to Long Island were lit up with fireworks and bonfires – both of which are illegal although the police really just work to keep order.  A facebook post this morning alluded to citizens “showing their independence.” 🙂

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Apparently there's something called Fish Racing which, if you didn't know that was a thing, don't feel bad.  I had no idea.
Apparently there’s something called Fish Racing which, if you didn’t know that was a thing, don’t feel bad. I had no idea, either.
Snapchat continues to provide ridiculous amount of entertainment.  But I also realized it works like a little scrapbook when you add a filter.
Snapchat continues to provide ridiculous amount of entertainment. But I also realized it works like a little scrapbook when you add a filter.
Chilly New England evenings make long sleeves almost a necessity so I thought my DAR shirt would be just right.  The back reads "Celebrate America with the DAR"
Chilly New England evenings make long sleeves almost a necessity so I thought my DAR shirt would be just right. The back reads “Celebrate America with the DAR”

On Sunday, we all piled into the car and drove into the city.  It was our first time driving (we usually just take the train) but I think we’ll be driving in all of the time now.  A quick trip in the car and $27 to park on the Upper East Side all day!

Our main objective was to take our niece to American Girl for her first doll since her 5th birthday is coming up.  It’s so much more fun to go to the shop and just order one online. But before we got there, we headed down to Battery Park for the views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. While we didn’t ferry out to the islands, we did head over to the Seaglass Carousel.  I highly recommend doing this.  For $5 you get to ride in iridescent sea creatures and feel like you’re swimming underwater.  Even my fourteen year old was impressed.  And, trust me, there isn’t a lot to do in Manhattan for $5 per person.

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After Battery Park, we headed up to Central Park to go to the zoo.  Central Park Zoo is the perfect size for little kids.  And for big kids who have walked all over creation. And, if you followed the news from NYC on Sunday, we were in Central Park, very close to where the explosion occurred.  My SIL was a little nervous about being in NYC after that, but watching how quickly the NYPD and the NYFD descend upon things like that makes you feel very safe.  My only concern was keeping the big kids with us just in case we ended up having to leave the park. No worries, though, that city is amazing in an incident and we never felt anything less than 100% safe.

Clearly my eleven year old showed no concern while chatting with her friends.
Clearly my eleven year old showed no concern while chatting with her friends.
In the Tropics House - so many beautiful birds.
In the Tropics House – so many beautiful birds…
And very friendly.
And very friendly.

Now that everyone is out for the day, either traveling back to Virginia, on their way to work, or heading down for the first day of work as a Junior Counselor (!!), it’s back to laundry.  I think we used every single towel we own and there is a layer of sand on the floor.  Which, I personally think is a good reason why we need to include an outdoor shower in the backyard renovation.  Just sayin’.

Tuesday – Cajun Chicken Alfredo (from the Buzzfeed app or search for it on Facebook)

Wednesday – Greek Salad Tacos with Cucumber Dill Dressing

Thursday – Grilled Steaks with Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Friday – Phish

Saturday – Phish

Sunday – Maia’s Birthday Dinner

Beach Life


Nothing like a walk on the beach to recharge. I’m trying to get out here every day but sometimes life gets in the way. My son and I walked to the other side of the beach road (split into two roads by a state park) for lunch at a local restaurant. Well worth the walk and I worked off the Jose fries (fried covered in guacamole and feta). 

Weekly Menu and Building Motivation

So I’ve mentioned that I am currently being treated for sepsis, following a run of the mill UTI.  Not going into too much detail other than to say that I’m on the other side and slowly feeling back to normal.  Good news!

Right now we’re working on summer packets and I’m starting to think about getting back in my classroom (one more week!) and all the many, many things that I need to get done.  Phew!  I pulled out an old planner to get some work started on figuring out that first week or school.  I don’t really use book planners since our school uses online lesson plans but I do have one old one hanging around.

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planner

I think I’ll stick to paper planning more this year. It’s so much easier to see it all laid out in front of me instead of little windows. I even found a tutorial for printing on post-in notes. Be still my heart!

And while I’m still not cooking, I’m trying to keep on top of food.  Two nights last week ended up in take-out once my husband got home from his office.  This morning I dragged myself to the kitchen to get dinner pre-cooked.  Hopefully that will result in what I planned to have for dinner?

Monday – Tacos (it should just be a throw it together dinner but why is clean up from tacos always so intensive?)

Tuesday – (Oyster Festival Meeting & Boy Scouts) – Zucchini Boats

Wednesday – Skinny Taste Baked Chicken Parm

Thursday – Pasta and Meat Sauce, Green Salad

Friday – TBD

Saturday – Cookout

Saturday

It has been a weird weather day in Connecticut: cloudy most of the day and a sudden break of sunshine.

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Some afternoon fun at the beach
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Reunited after a fun week on Nantucket
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Pick up time. The truck broke down and they had an unexpected day in Hyannis. Home four hours late but smiling!
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Our water heater died last night so we went out to a favorite sushi spot…and a few other scout families had the same idea!

Weekly Menu – Daughter Ed.

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My oldest is off with his Boy Scout troop for a weeklong camping trip so I decided to let Maia do the meal planning. She claims we “never” fix anything she likes. I haven’t done any grocery shopping since before we went to North Carolina in late June so I’m definitely due for a trip.

  • Sunday – Pierce’s BBQ that we brought back from Virginia, with coleslaw (on top)
  • Monday – (Hubby has a Board Meeting) Cheater Pad Thai from Happy Herbivore
  • Tuesday – (I have a Board Meeting) Tacos!
  • Wednesday – Homemade Mac & Cheese (trying a new recipe here)
  • Thursday – Swedish Meatballs (from a recent trip to IKEA)
  • Friday – Picnic Dinner at our town’s Friday Night concert at the harbor
  • Saturday – Shrimp and Grits to celebrate Addison’s return home

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I really can’t believe it’s mid-July! That’s the downside to taking a vacation right after school gets out – I feel like I’ve lost half of the summer already. Next year it’s Nantucket in August so I will have something to look forward to later in the summer. We’re just a bit jaded since we live at the beach anyway. Not that you’d know it, though, since I have to force the kids to the beach. But that’s ok. This year I received a hammock as an end of year gift which is where I plan on spending the majority of my down time, such as it is.

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Home Sweet Home

Phew! We’re back from ten days down south. How did I live in that heat and humidity?  We all came home with colds from being locked into air conditioning!  But it was a wonderful trip away with friends in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Luckily there were no shark encounters although we were present when a teenage boy was attacked swimming near the Rodanthe Fishing Pier behind our house.  Well, we didn’t go in the ocean at all but logged many, many hours in the pool at the house.

While we were gone I got an email from our facilities manager that the school floors got waxed on Monday.  I haven’t gotten an email that it’s ok to go into classrooms since he’s on a cruise and, well, that, so I’m in a holding pattern at the moment.  Millions of things I’d like to do and no where to do them.  So instead, I’ll share some photos from our trip ~

Wright Bros. National Park #outerbanks #northcarolina #kittyhawk

May not be swimming this trip but we're eating well. Crabs done right. #marylandgirl

Dinner! #summer2015 #outerbanks #bluecrabs #budweiserandoldbay

Summer Night #summer2015 #outerbanks #obx
Getting ready to clim #obx #outerbanks #summer2015 #capehatteras #lighthouses

Hush puppies, fried pickles and shrimp po'boys
You know those people you make fun of because they're carrying around stupidly large stuffed animals at an amusement park? Yeah, that would be us today.  #williamsburg #buschgardens #summer2015

Visiting my alma mater
Would you believe I have a picture of these two exactly like this when the big one was three and the little one was one!?! #timeflies #summer2015

There are even more photos to be seen on Instagram. I haven’t had a chance to upload photos from the actual camera yet, but you get the idea.