Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekly Update: It's June!

June is here and that means a shift to "summer mode"... life is (slightly) more relaxed, we spend more time outdoors, use the grill almost daily, eat later,  and, for the first time ever, I am not responsible for transporting anyone to summer classes, driving lessons, etc. It almost feels like retirement! ;-)

The scene:  7:30 Sunday morning, black coffee, my laptop, a beautiful day on the lake - I'm heading out for a long walk very soon.

Reading:  I finished We Were Liars by E. Lockhart on Memorial Day and started Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart by Carol Wall.  Nonfiction seemed like a good follow-up to the popular YA title and, at the 37% mark, it is a refreshing change of pace.


Listening:  I downloaded Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell. This is our next book club selection and I'm approaching it as a read/listen combination. The first hundred pages have focused on Huguette's father, W.A. Clark, and although he was quite a character, I'm not totally into the book yet. I have a feeling we'll get to Huguette soon and this background is surely important to her story.

On the blog:
- review of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- review of The Light Between Oceans by M.L.Stedman
- Three New Recipes for Weekend Cooking

In the garden: I'm loving my new herb garden in a wine crate! We had fresh rosemary on our grilled vegetables, cilantro on the Avocado Cup Salads, basil with our tomato/mozzarella, and parsley on just about everything else. The plants look a little crowded, but I hope it will last all summer.


Hoping:  To attend BEA one day... It's so much fun to see the photos and tweets, but I'm a little afraid the actual event may be slightly overwhelming. Next year I'll at least plan to participate in Armchair BEA. I enjoyed reading the posts this past week.

Anticipating:  Perhaps dreading is a better word, but I'm having a couple of old fillings replaced this week. Does anyone really like going to the dentist?

Later today:  The rest of the flowers must get planted, and then we'll probably have dinner at my sister's.

What are your plans for the day?

I am also linking this post to It's Monday! What are you Reading? hosted at Book Journey.




49 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your photo of your herb garden. It looks great! Have a great summer.

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    1. Pat - I love summer in central New York... almost as much as fall! The fresh herbs are such a delicious treat.

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  2. Enjoyed reading about all of your activities--except, of course, the upcoming dentist appointment. E. Lockhart was at BEA, but the line was too long to wait for a copy of the book. It's still on my wish list.

    Have a great week and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Catherine - I'll bet E. Lockhart had one of the longest lines at BEA... that's such a hot book right now! Can't wait to hear about your experiences at BEA.

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  3. Love your plants there! They have come out very well! I am waiting for next month here, when I begin to get Fridays off. Of course, I have to work extra two hours during the remaining four days, but the weekend is usually worth it.

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    1. Athira - Oh, yes... I'd much rather work a couple extra hours a day and have 3 day weekends all summer - enjoy!!

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  4. I just love non-fiction for a change of pace and the gardening book looks awesome! We're beginning to enjoy the fruits of our own garden. I have a bowl of green beans in the fridge that need some love today, and my husband has been out pollinating squash with a paintbrush this morning. Long story. lol Have a great week, JoAnn!

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    1. Andi - Ok, now that's a story I'll to need to know.... pollinating squash with a paintbrush, eh? I'm finally getting into Empty Mansions now. Nonfiction seems to be the perfect palate-cleanser for me lately ;-)

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  5. I love that garden - fresh herbs make such a difference in dishes. Have a good week and good luck at the dentist (I dislike the dentist too!)

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    1. Colleen - Fresh herbs make everything taste better... may even expand it next year!

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  6. Oh, I hate going to the dentist, too, and I had to go last week. But just cleaning, no fillings...Yay!

    I like the sound of your summer, with the grilling, etc. And that herb garden in a wine crate...fabulous idea! I don't have much of a green thumb, but maybe I could do that on my patio..LOL

    Years ago, we had a garden....it was wonderful!

    I hope to love We Were Liars...enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I've been putting off replacing these two fillings for too long... not looking forward to it at all! We Were Liars has all the elements I love in a summer read - hope you enjoy it, too.

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  7. I loved Mister Owita! BEA can be overwhelming - try to team up with someone who's been there when you decide to go.

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    1. Kathy - It was your review that got me to add Mister Owita to my list. It very good so far - thanks!

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  8. I hope to go to BEA one day, too. Every year when it comes around I'm finishing school. (Couldn't they wait one more week for teachers? ;)

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    1. Bellezza - Getting to BEA may get easier for you in a couple of years. I think they're moving it to Chicago in 2016.

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  9. Love your herb crate! So pretty. Empty Mansions has been on my TBR list for awhile but I never realized it was about Hugette Clarke. I've got the Phantom of 5th Avenue that's about her as well. Mister Owita sounds very good. I will have to look for that as well as I love books about gardening - especially when it's gardening season! I'm dreaming about going to BEA too. One day right!

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    1. Katherine - There was a review of both books in the Wall Street Journal last week that made me want want tp pick up the Phantom of 5th Avenue. Here's the link:
      http://online.wsj.com/articles/book-review-empty-mansions-by-bill-dedman-and-paul-clark-newell-jr-the-phantom-of-fifth-avenue-by-meryl-gordon-1401480581

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  10. We have the luxury of being able to grill year round but the summer months bring all sorts of yummy veggies to grill as well. I love to grill extra for salads and lunch fixings all week long.

    As I type this, I am still in my jammies. I have had breakfast and coffee and will become a human being after I hit the shower. Nothing planned today. I plan to just sit and read and maybe clean something out since I seem to like doing that. Crazy person that I am.

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    1. Ti - Being able to cook and eat outside was one of the things I enjoyed most when we spent time in Florida last winter. Good idea to grill extra for salads during the week! Hope you had a peaceful day today :)

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  11. JoAnn,
    Loved this post, as I did the one previous. Luscious food--keep those photos and descriptions coming! And I always love the smattering of books. Perks me right up!
    Judith

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    1. Judith - I'm so happy you enjoyed these posts! I like to throw in the recipes to break up all the book talk once in a while.

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  12. Because of you, I now own a Fitbit One :) I love it and found that the reason I am always tired is that I'm a restless sleeper -- love that feature and have also found I walk much more thank I thought I did. Hope u r enjoying yours as well.

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    1. Diane - I'm so glad you love the Fitbit One! I think it's amazing. Lucky you to walk more than you thought. Saturday was the first time I got to 10,000 without a walk or treadmill time during the day... maybe shopping is even better than I though;-)

      I'm still a little skeptical about the sleep recordings. One night I swore I was up for hours on end, but since I wasn't tossing and turning constantly it thought I was sleeping. My "efficiency" that night was supposedly 95%, but I sure didn't feel like it the next day.

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  13. LOVE the wine crate herb garden! I think I may have to try that myself (maybe next year).

    And for the record, I detest the dentist. Wonderful man.... but truly hate his profession.

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    1. Steppingstonesblogs - So few wineries use those wooden crates any more, so it's getting harder and harder to find them. I'd start looking now for next year ;-)

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  14. You've read/are reading some fantastic sounding books lately! I am looking forward to We Were Liars, but there is a long waiting list at the library so it might be a while. I spent the day at my parents' house for my niece's graduation party and reading - a great day. :-)

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    1. Anbolyn - I was lucky to get on the library hold list just before the book got so unbelievably popular. Think I saw some pictures of your niece's graduation on instagram...glad you had a great day!

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  15. It was a full day, but I did manage to get a nap in this afternoon - it was much needed! We watched Frozen tonight. :)

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    1. Carrie - A nap is always welcome on a Sunday ;-)

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    1. Sheila - Empty Mansions is perfect for a read/listen combo! There are photos in the book and actual recordings of Huguette's voice on the audio.

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  17. My husband doesn't mind going to the dentist, but that because he has never had a cavity! Thankfully, our kids got his teeth. I love summer grilling.

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    1. Nise' - I suppose if you've never had a cavity, that would make a world of difference, lol!

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  18. I'm really interested in looking at a copy of Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening. Have never seen that title.

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    1. Tea- I saw it reviewed on Kathy's blog (Bermudaonion) and it sounded like a book I would enjoy.

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  19. Your wine crate herb garden looks wonderful! I am so envious of anyone who is able to grow such beautiful herbs. I have killed so many basil plants over the years that I don't think anyone will let me try to do so ever again.

    We are officially breaking out the grill this week. Now that the weather is finally cooperating, I definitely do not want to cook indoors. As for summer schedules, I'm still waiting for the day when my kids will stop taking so many summer activities. I definitely could use a break from the daily chauffeuring duties.

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. Michelle - This is my first attempt at a real herb garden. I've had several basil plants that have done well, but have killed at least a couple of cilantro plants. Fingers crossed this lasts the entire season!

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  20. Your day sounds wonderful!! Just 8.5 more days until I am free for the rest of the summer! Yay! Your herb basket is adorable, I love the wine crate idea!

    My day today - work until 3, then some errand running before making creamy zucchini-rice soup for dinner tonight, one of my faves. Then probably some puttering around in the garden. :)

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    1. Quixotic Magpie - I'm sure those 8.5 days will be over before you know it... so nice to have summer to look forward to!!

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  21. I joked on twitter the other day that if I attended BEA I'd be the awkward one in the corner. Several people agreed that they'd be awkward with me. I would love to meet some other bloggers but I agree that it all feels SO overwhelming! Armchair BEA is a lot of fun, though. Great to meet some new bloggers.

    Mister Owita sounds like a great read! I planted my tomatoes again this year but I'm not sure how much they'll yield. Mostly it's just for fun (I tell myself). I LOVE your winebox planter!

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    1. Trish - Maybe some sort of bloggers retreat would be less stressful the BEA... that's just SO big! I'll get my act together and participate in Armchair BEA next year. Mr. Owita is turning out to be a very good book.

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  22. Using the grill almost every day? Bliss!
    And I hate the dentist too. My hate is completely irrational as I've only ever had one filling and no other work, but I just don't like it...

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    1. Sam - Food always seems to taste better when it's cooked outside... love summer dinners!

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  23. We always enjoy it when the grill comes out, there's just nothing like grilled food in the summer heat. Your herb garden in the crate looks nice!

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    1. Greg - These's something about grilling and al fresco dining... always makes me so happy. Tonight we're grilling chicken. I used some of those fresh herds in the marinade.

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  24. Your herb garden is beautiful!
    And, no, I don't know of anyone who likes to go to the dentist. Maybe a dentist?

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    1. Stacy - I have a great dentist! The appointment today had me "in the chair" for a long time, but was not really unpleasant. Seems like anticipation is the worst part...

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  25. I love your garden in a wine crate! I have started on the replace the fillings journey too ... Sigh.

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