It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 20, 2021)

Well! Good morning. So that busy weekend that didn’t materialize last weekend, that I predicted would come in force this weekend? It did. In force. I’m not even sure I can remember everything we did, let alone summarize it all in one to three efficient paragraphs, but I’ll try. We kicked off the weekend with the first soccer practice of the season, after sitting out last week on the sick list. Nugget dove right into soccer as if he hadn’t had a week’s break since camp, and was proclaimed “a baller” by the coach. We got home late – this will be the story of Friday for the next few months – and treated ourselves to Peruvian chicken to celebrate the end of a loooooong week.

On Saturday, we were up early and out the door for Nugget’s first game – Honduras (his team) vs. Australia. I’m pretty sure no one kept score, which was a good thing because if they had we’d have gotten absolutely shellacked. But it was adorable, and Nugget had a fabulous time, which is what matters. No sooner did we arrive home from Saturday soccer than Peanut and I were out the door again – for a stop at the local office supply store to print her requisite forms for Brownies (the girl behind the desk, seeing that we were printing Girl Scout forms, asked us to please promise to come around at cookie time – this is why I love supporting my neighborhood businesses), and then off to Peanut’s Brownie investiture ceremony and first badge activity: a painting class at a local historic mill and museum. She came home with orange paint-encrusted fingers, proudly clutching a baggie with her investiture patch and her first badge. Then – after a morning dedicated to kiddo activities, Steve and I insisted on family time. We gathered the whole crew up again (grousing at not getting to spend the – beautiful, sunny – afternoon watching cartoons) and rolled off to Seneca Regional Park to challenge ourselves with a slightly longer loop than usual. Once they got over their dismay at being torn from the TV, the kids were surprisingly good, and a few miles of river and woodland views were very good for the soul, indeed.

Still with me? If not, I don’t blame you. I was apparently tired after this day of monumental activity too, because I sacked out at 9:30 on Saturday night (party animal) and slept until almost 8:30 on Sunday morning – nearly eleven hours! Guess I needed it. Anyway, I rolled out of bed and immediately laid out adorable outfits for the kids to wear apple-picking, which is what we’d decided to do on Sunday morning before their midday swim lessons. So it was my turn to be dismayed when Steve glumly announced that the orchard I’d intended for us to visit – the only one that doesn’t require advance reservations – was out of everything except Red Delicious. As we all know, Red Delicious is not delicious. (This is a fact, not an opinion.) So we postponed apple-picking until next weekend, reluctantly, and after I’d wrestled both kids into their cute orchard themed outfits, they refused to change and ended up hiking (our Plan B) in a gingham shirt and apple-print dress, respectively. And now everyone knows what they’ll be wearing next weekend. Follow me for more elementary school fashion tips! Anyway – we squeezed in a quick hike at our local fave, Riverbend Regional Park, then tooled off to swimming. And after all that, I felt like I’d earned a lazy afternoon at home, so that’s what I gave myself. I went for a walk, did some work, made Whole30-compliant golumpki for Sunday dinner, and read on the couch for hours. It was good.

Reading. ‘Twas another busy one! After spending most of the week over my re-read of Gwen Raverat’s delightful Period Piece, I blazed through three books between Friday and Sunday: first, Agatha Christie’s debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, followed by the slim but entertaining The House Party, a social history of upper-class “week-end” entertainment in the interwar years in Great Britain (mostly in England, but a dash of Scotland for good measure). And then polished off Business as Usual in a day and loved every word – another contender for the year’s top-ten list. I finished off the weekend by diving into Robert Graves’ doorstopping The Greek Myths (off my Classics Club list) and I do hope I’m sufficiently recovered from James A. Michener for the epic task ahead.

Watching. It’s been an all-over-the-place sort of watching week. We spent three nights over The Lizzie McGuire Movie – I had a hunch Peanut would love it, and I was right. Around Lizzie we tucked some Rock the Park (studying up for some travel we have coming up this fall!) and a “grown-ups movie night” featuring an episode of The Crown, because we’re well behind and need to finish this season before the next one drops. Oh, and I’m still working my way through Miranda Mills’ YouTube channel while washing dishes, and enjoying it so much that I often find myself cleaning unnecessarily just to watch another episode.

Listening. I have to tell you, listening to music in the car with kids is a complicated business. Nugget requested “tunes” on the way home from swimming. I asked what he wanted to listen to, and he said “Classical” so I obliged with Holst’s The Planets. But apparently by “Classical” he meant “something with singing” so I suggested Charlotte Church as the only classical music I happened to have downloaded that also involved singing. Dramatic gagging ensued. (What’s their problem with Charlotte Church, I ask you?) Then Nugget clarified that when he requested classical music “with singing” he meant The Decemberists. I started to quibble – The Decemberists are rock, after all – but decided it wasn’t worth it, and we listened to Your Ghost four times in a row. You see what I mean? Complicated business. Anyway, other than negotiating kiddo music choices, I’m pleased to report that I knocked another hour off my audiobook (All Creatures Great and Small) and listened to several bookish podcast episodes while walking around my neighborhood.

Making. Lots of cooking this week, as always with a Whole30, but the highlight was definitely Sunday evening’s Paleo golumpki. (Turkey instead of beef/pork; cauliflower rice instead of white rice; and tomato puree with almond milk whisked in instead of Campbell’s soup – and it tastes unnervingly like my grandmother’s.)

Moving. Bit of a lazy week, this one was. Just one run and two hikes, plus daily neighborhood walks – usually after the kids board the school bus. Sometimes I see them barreling along through the neighborhood if I time the walk just right.

Blogging. It’s going to be a good week! I have September’s Themed Reads coming for you on Wednesday, and continuing with Adirondack recaps on Friday. Check in with me then!

Loving. I recently found a new-to-me social media follow – @nattieupnorth on Instagram – and I can’t recommend her highly enough. If you’re an outdoorsy type and you’re around social, do check her out; she posts beautiful photos and stories about life in Minnesota (I’ve never been, but would love to go). I found her through YouTube, actually: her justifiably popular video about how she, one tiny person, hoists a 90-pound fishing kayak onto her car without help. Clearly a force to be reckoned with! I’ve been loving following her posts; they’re bringing so much extra beauty to my days.

Asking. What are you reading this week?

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