Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer... of... Mystery

One of our favorite family traditions is summer reading; we gather ideas all year.  Freer summer days mean more time to settle into bed slowly.  And now that we're vacationing in our guest room all summer on a great big fluffy bed -- all the better.  

We kicked it off right with A Long Way from Chicago and then moved on to The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Return to Gone Away.  Sela requested one of her American Girl mysteries, which takes place at summer camp, Mystery at Camp Nokomis.  They both liked the summer-themed mystery so much they requested more, more, more AG mysteries.  And then they deemed it "The Summer of Mystery."

So, since we love Kit, we read Missing Grace and Danger at the Zoo (which I can't say -- or think -- apparently, without adding "dun dun duuuuuun").  And then who could turn down a mystery titled The Hidden Gold, which takes place on a riverboat on the Mississippi?  Now we're about to discover the culprit in The Cry of the Loon.  I thought we were moving on to Molly's Spy on the Home Front or Julie's The Mystery of the Paper Daughter, but Linus has called an audible.  He has just discovered a book called Race for Revenge.  Yep, that's a Speed Racer book, and I'm told it's a mystery.  Oh!  And, I almost forgot -- we are also listening to Dumpling Days -- which is great.

Usually, we go for classics as our summer reads.  I love to soak up those well-crafted stories, steeped in rich language.  But, we were in a bit of an in-between place this summer.  I wasn't ready to re-read some of the gentler summer books we've read, and Linus isn't ready for some that we have on deck (Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island).  And that's just fine.  I love that we read together.

(For more of our summer reads, check here, here, and here.)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lunch! And a Gardening Tip*

Well, my garden has been pretty neglected this year.  They say you can't have it all.  And this season we had a lot -- but none of it was in the garden.  We've traveled, we've relaxed, we've read, we've pursued interests, we've museumed.  Yep.  So far -- it's been a great summer!

Today we woke to overcast and cooooool weather.  HOO-ray.  So, I tackled some weeding & some trimming, and on top of the satisfaction of getting back to the garden, we also got LUNCH!  (I always try to keep marinated fresh mozzarella on hand in the summer.)

It's so cool today -- if I can convince my husband to sweep the back patio, I might just wash off the table and serve dinner out there.  And turn on the oven for cookies.  Blue Ribbon Day. 
Also, please will you send me your favorite recipes for leeks and eggplants?

Oh, I almost forgot that gardening tip* I promised!  
1.  Plant your garden in spring.
2.  Water it a regular amount for a couple of months.
3.  Pretend you don't have a garden.
4.  Go back to the garden that you really do have, use your entire arm to lift the overgrown plants, and scoop up all the snails that are just hanging out in big parties in your garden.  The trick is to let them get lazy, complacent.  They were not expecting to see me.

*Or, maybe just garden responsibly.  Your choice.