Currently…August

Today I am linking up with Anne In Residence for her monthly Currently.. linkup. It’s always a fun way to think about what is happening in my world right now. And for now, our world is very small feeling. We have been close to home, venturing out a wee bit more but not really. This time at home or outside has strengthened our connection with the little creatures that share our small square of land. I feel like we are spotting insects and toads and birds so much more often. And for some reason we have millions of grasshoppers in our yard! I am reminded of that summer in the Little House books, the one where the grasshoppers destroyed Plum Creek. When we walk through the yard, we are proceeded by the hops of grasshoppers moving out of our way with every step. Ours aren’t destructive, just everywhere.

Anyway.. here we go!

Choosing: Our curriculum for the year. We have decided that I am going to homeschool Wyatt this year and he is not a kid who will benefit from online distance learning, so I am plunging in on my own. I have done weeks of research and am very excited to start with our choices. We are also choosing paint colors – the big paint begins around here very soon. With all this time and heading into fall we are going to get started on freshening up some of our rooms, and I am so excited! We have made some unconventional choices for our room layouts (turning our dining room into a den and our living room into a dining room/family room) but now we want to change the colors.

Consuming: Cider! It is the summer of cider around here. I am not sure what that is about but I am enjoying all the different summery ciders. Michigan has two wonderful orchards that produce them and while I like Blake’s Rose a lot, the Virtue Ciders are the ones I usually order. I am also enjoying homemade London Fog Lattes! My neighbor surprised me with the mix from Aldi’s and while I wanted to drink it all in one day, I have been good and spaced it out.

Enjoying: So much time with my little family. And I have even been able to enjoy some socially distanced social time with my girl friends, and my family, which has been wonderful. We have been soaking up nature, going on lazy picnics in the park where we set up under a shade tree, take snacks, and read and draw until little man gets tired of it. I am also enjoying watching the few things I managed to plant grow – my pumpkins especially!

Ordering: Umm.. what am I not ordering now? Lol. Recently aside from everyday essentials, I am ordering art supplies, books for Wyatt and I, birthday gifts, and even a few Christmas gifts from one of my favorite artists. I’ve linked a few standout favorites here!

Arteza Finger Paint Set || Leo the Lightning Bug || The Creative Family Manifesto || Adventuring Together (Amazon Affiliate links)

Remembering: Summer vacations up north, festivals, art fairs, summertime date nights….

Stay safe and kind everyone!

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

It’s a rainy weekend this weekend, and I have to say I sort of welcome it. It means no picnics this weekend, but I am enjoying the change. The other evening I was walking across my yard and I felt the weirdest feeling, the hint of fall in the air, nudging me, letting me know that summer’s end is right around the corner – already. Everything has felt so off this year, the seasons all out of tune with our family’s normal rhythms – no festivals or art fairs, no summer vacation up north, no summer nights spent with friends and family while the kids play in the yard and we jabber on. Now when we get together it is distanced, and we try so hard to steer the conversation from current events. And I went off on a tangent here, sorry! I blame the rain.

Read Last Week:

I am still working on The Masterpiece, but I am irritated with Claude right now, and I need to take a break from him. I did download Mexican Gothic, and holy moly was it awesome! I completely devoured it, which I haven’t done with a fiction book in ages. I think you would have to enjoy magical realism to really like it, but it was amazing. I loved everything about it, but then magical realism is a favorite genre of mine. It reminded me of my beloved Mary Stewart gothics but with lots of extras. It was excellent! I also started reading 100 Things to do in a Forest, but for some reason I can only read it on my phone which I hate! I read enough of it however to know that I want to add it to our family library so I am ordering a physical copy and will finish it when it arrives.

Reading This Week:

It is definitely cherry season here in Michigan! I think today I might make a cherry clafloutis, or maybe tomorrow.. anyway, I am also starting this book. I love this cover! And it is set in Michigan, so bonus!

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling Summer Edition: France, Part Two

Friday Favorites: Etsy Artists

My Homeschooling Journey so Far… and Curriculum Reveal!

Watching:

We are on the final episode of Picard, which I think we will finish up tonight. I liked it but not as much as Billy did, but then I don’t have decades of watching Star Trek behind me either. Lol. We are also watching Father Brown, Cursed, and Season 2 of the Umbrella Academy! I missed crazy Klaus.

And that is it from our little burrow this week! Stay safe everyone.

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

We have had a very French-centric week around our house, with Wyatt’s new unit of study. It’s been fun! I also had TWO social distancing social dates (outdoors only), both Friday and Saturday night. Friday night with my tribe of ladies and it was a much needed night for all of us, then Saturday we went to my brother’s house and just sat around and chatted for really the first time since February. I have missed that so much! We stayed apart but were able to talk together and it felt so normal and nice. I missed hugging my little niece but I could at least talk to her in person. These moments will get us through! We are also super obsessed with our gecko that we added into the family last weekend, and have really been playing around with her enclosure, decorating. (we are fairly certain Harry is a girl)

Read Last Week:

I had hoped to finish up The Masterpiece but I am still working away on it. It is good, but I am in a nonfiction mood these past few weeks so I am having a difficult time sticking with it. I’ll finish it though, before the month is through! (maybe..)

Reading this Week:

I am super excited to start 100 Things to do in a Forest. We stay out of our favorite woods this time of year, too many mosquitoes and they love my husband, but we will be venturing back in again in the fall.

Posted Last Week:

Book Review: Adventuring Together

Homeschooling, Summer Edition: France Part 1

Watching:

This week we have been watching Father Brown, Cursed, and Picard. Then for our movie nights we watched The Suspiscions of Mr. Whicher on Friday, then Radioactive Saturday. (both on Amazon) Radioactive was amazing. The movie was so well done honestly, I definitely recommend it.

Listening:

To a lot of true crime podcasts. I am doing way more listening than reading these days. I have been making my way through Redhanded and Crime Files – I actually committed to being a Patron of Redhanded lol. I love that podcast, it is so good! (Thank you What’s Nonfiction for that suggestion way back in November)

And that is about it from our little burrow. Stay safe everyone!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was just a week, nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary. Wyatt and I “visited” the Great Smoky Mountains, Billy worked, and then Saturday we added a new family member! A cute little fancy leopard gecko that we (I) named Harry! And we loves her/him! We have read so much on the whole substrate controversy as well – our kit came with this substrate and after some reading, we learned it is one of two brands that is acceptable. We have already decided we are probably going to go nuts though and build her a naturalist or bio type enclosure, so this substrate won’t be in there too long. So our creatures are now at two snails, one gecko, and three cats.

Harry!

Read Last Week:

My reading is almost at a standstill I am reading so little these days. I am still working on my Zola book, which I am really enjoying I just am not finding a lot of time to read it. I also treated myself to a new book which while I haven’t finished it, I almost have so I am counting it as done since I will probably finish it during Wyatt’s nap today.

Adventuring Together is totally my kind of read!

Reading This Week:

I will continue with The Masterpiece and I think that is it for the week, I want to finish it!

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling, Summer Edition: The Great Smoky Mountains

Exploring Folk Music

Book Review: The Creative Family Manifesto

Watching:

We finished Rosemary and Thyme and I am sad – I miss it! We started Picard, which is so well done and the only sci-fi I have watched really, and Cursed on Netflix which I am enjoying as well, even though it is a bit cheesy. Picard is a little confusing since I don’t know half the back story but Billy fills me in. And I finished up the new Unsolved Mysteries and I can’t wait for the next installment. I am also listening daily to the Redhanded Podcast. I am apparently all about the true crime these days.

Stay safe everyone!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was the definition of a slow summer week. We spent time outside, lazing about the house, and learning about fireflies. We spent time outdoors drawing together, and in my “free” time I researched curriculums for Wyatt’s school year. I am finding there are so many out there, too many options almost! The more I look the harder this gets. And of course all the homeschool families on Instagram are revealing their curriculum choices so I am writing all these down when I see them. I think I need to just stop looking at this point and choose. I had no idea the homeschool world was such a big and connected community but it is. I also had a great evening with my friends having socially distanced drinks together. I am also going to venture out of my comfort zone this week and try the curbside service at the library..

Read Last Week:

I didn’t read very much last week. I finished up Opium and Absinthe, which ended up getting really good, and started The Masterpiece which I forgot I had ordered until it arrived at my door. I was excited to read a physical book!

Reading This Week:

I will continue to read The Masterpiece but I feel the Dear Bob and Sue Part 2 calling my name this week. I am missing trips and travel! We had planned a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains and a side trip to Dollywood for this month pre-COVID which is now on hold.

Posted Last Week:

Book Review: Honey and Venom

Snapshots of Summer So Far

Homeschool, Summer Edition: Birds and Fireflies

Watching:

We have been watching Nancy Drew, and finally finished Season 1 – so good! Then I started Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix and am addicted. I am squeezing them in where I can. I even went on Reddit to see what other people were thinking of these – I guess I think I am Nancy Drew! For our movie night we watched Woman Walks Ahead which was really good. It could easily have been longer than the hour and forty some minutes and I would have been ok with it, and I don’t say that often. I usually hate movies over two hours.

Stay safe everyone.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

So the first week of July is behind us – and summer has arrived to our little corner of the world with high temps, long lazy days, and our garden beginning to bear fruit, literally. Wyatt and I split the very first ripe raspberry from our garden, when it was still warm from the sun, bringing back so many memories of sitting in my uncle’s garden eating peas directly from the garden, peaches straight from the tree. We spent the fourth having a picnic in the park, then heading to my brother’s for a socially distanced get together with my family. Wyatt and my niece saw their first driveway firework and were very impressed.

Read Last Week:

I am almost done with Opium and Absinthe, and so far it is good but I am not enjoying it as much as Kang’s other books. Maybe the end will really bring it all together, we will see. I absolutely loved The Creative Family Manifesto, and am hoping to order some new art supplies today.

Reading This Week:

I have to be honest, I am not sure! I have a bunch of books I was planning on reading but I am not in the mood anymore, I am sort of in a reading slump but I think it is because we have been outside quite a bit and when we are inside I am usually doing stuff with the family. These are some contenders for the week:

Wyatt and I also finished Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne and have started reading The Little Prince as our afternoon read aloud. I have always loved that story and it will be fun to share with him.

Posted Last Week:

Currently…July

Paris In July – Parisienne Farmgirl

We Made Shampoo Bars

Friday Favorites: Hair and Skincare

I didn’t get a chance to post our summer homeschool roundup about birds, which was a great week! I hope to get that up tomorrow or Tuesday.

Watching:

We are still watching Nancy Drew, Rosemary and Thyme, and then Friday night we watched a fantastic movie from the French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet called The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, which is on Amazon. We had not heard of it but the cinematography looked amazing in the trailer and it also had Helena Bonham-Carter in it and I love her, so we gave it a go. This movie is so beautiful visually, rich and vibrant, clever, and quirky, all things I love. The ending was sort of weird but other than that, I loved this movie and thought it was very well-done!

Stay safe everyone!

Currently – July

Today I am linking up with Anne in Residence’s monthly post, Currently… This month we are sharing what we are cooking, photographing, sharing, trying and wondering.

Cooking: We are not too exciting on this front right now. Mostly summertime foods on the grill, easy stuff like burgers and salmon, and fruit and veggies and cheese. We attempted to make strawberry jam the other night, and I stood over a hot stove full of boiling pots while my hair curled up like crazy, only to not have any of our jars seal! I am not sure what I did wrong; I feel like I did all the things, the only thing I can think of that I didn’t do is give them enough space for air flow while they were cooling. So, back to the drawing board and try try again!

Photographing: We haven’t been venturing too far from home, so I’ve been mostly photgraphing my son, who loves his photo taken and asks for it, my garden, insects, and my cats.

Sharing: This month I will be sharing French-themed posts on my blog for Paris in July, hosted by Thyme for Tea. I also “shared” all of the black swallowtail eggs and caterpillars I found on my carrots and dill with my sister-in-law and niece, who are raising them. I found a few more yesterday though so it looks like we might be raising them too..

Trying: Lots of new projects! My sister-in-law showed me how to make shampoo bars the other day, which was the perfect socially distanced social time, since it was outside and we had to wear PPE anyway. I was very nervous about working with lye and she showed me that it was not as scary as I had imagined. (I’m hoping to post about this tomorrow or the next day) I also have an embroidery kit to try, and I bought my son a kid’s beading/sewing kit. I thought if we did it together it would be neat, plus he likes stringing things together and bonus, fine motor work for my cp warrior! However, my husband has to teach both Wyatt and me..

Wondering: Like everyone else, how to stay sane. How to keep our kids happy and healthy and non-traumatized by these world events. When and if things will return to normal. When I will feel comfortable enough to get ice cream from my favorite ice cream place again.

Stay safe and well everyone!

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was sort of crazy – I had my virtual conference, where I watched about two hours of workshops a day. I have lifetime access to them so I can just keep going though so that is good. I learned so much! Then Wyatt had a 90 second focal seizure on Wednesday – it was terrifying for us both. It required another call to his neuro and raising of his meds so please keep your fingers crossed and say all the prayers that this dose is the right dose. Needless to say, my reading was not really on par last week. I did finish my book Honey and Venom, and the review should be up this week. It was pretty fascinating!

Reading This Week:

Then this week I am reading the same books I posted as reading last week, since I didn’t get to them.

Posted Last Week:

I did post once or twice last week – I talked about Paris in July here and then about our Homeschooling, Deer Week Summer Edition here.

Watching:

We watched The Order Season 2 this week – start to finish. It was so good! Now we have to wait all over again for a season 3 – if there is one! We also watched Nancy Drew, which I am loving as well. For movie night, we watched The Current War (Amazon Prime) with Michael Shannon and Benedict Cumberbatch. It was really really well done – and highlighted to me how little I know about that part of history, and how much Billy knows. The movie is a little confusing I think if you are not familiar with the whole A/C vs. D/C debate, or Tesla’s contributions, at least in my opinion. Billy had to explain some things to me as we watched which made it easier to follow. I really enjoyed the movie though, despite my lack of knowledge, because, well, now I know more!

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was a pretty good week. Wyatt and I did some fun things, then Friday my mom came over and we socially distanced a picnic dinner. She brought her dinner with her and we had ours, just simple stuff so that we could spend our time talking and enjoying the weather. It was such a nice time. Then Saturday I got brave – I masked up and went to my favorite nursery to pick out some flowers. And it was a good experience. It is a giant nursery, all outdoors, it wasn’t crowded at all, and 99% of the people were masked. They had arrows on the floor to mark one way aisles, 6 feet distancing for the lines, and the cashiers had new plastic shields up. I was scared but soon sort of relaxed as I browsed, since there really wasn’t anyone around me. I went with a list but since I was going so late in the season knew I might have to make swaps. The only things I didn’t end up getting were snapdragons (my favorite!) and lettuce plants, but I bought pentas and swiss chard instead. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon planting everything. Today my brother is coming by to rototill my last little area that I need to work on and then I will be set for this year’s makeshift garden.

Read Last Week:

I read Summer at Lake Haven and it was just I had hoped, a light easy summer read. Perfect for my mood last week. Review coming very soon! I also started Honey and Venom, which I am also enjoying, but didn’t finish yet, so I will be reading it this week as well. I am learning some crazy things about bees – like the scent of bananas enrages them! So don’t eat bananas and then go around bees. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copies of both!

Reading This Week:

I have been waiting a long time to read this! I pre-ordered it a million years ago because I loved The Vine Witch so much, and yay, now it is here! I love witchy books and this world that Smith created is so fun.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling: Bee Week!

Small Steps

Picture Book Review: Under My Tree

Watching:

We are still watching Rosemary and Thyme, and we have one episode left of When Hope Calls. It’s not as good as When Calls the Heart, but I do like the relationship between the sisters. Both of the movies we watched this weekend left me unsettled. I enjoyed them both, but I felt sort of sad after watching both of them. We watched The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, which is apparently based on a true story, and then The Bookshop, starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy, whom I adore in everything. Both were excellent, but definitely left you with lots to think about. These movies are both on Amazon Video.

And that about sums it up for me! Stay safe everyone.

Small Steps

This past weekend was all about small steps rather than big leaps. My garden is slowly, slowly, slowly coming along. My husband fractured his elbow back in May and he is still healing up, and unfortunately can’t do the digging for us. My brother has been coming over and helping me out – this past weekend we rototilled the front garden area and I hope to plant some things in there around the raspberry bushes soon. It is so weird to be so behind schedule, and off plan. I am a person who makes a detailed plan and then for the most part, checks it off. So this has been a learning experience in flexibility and rolling with the punches for sure. And honestly, I am ok. This just wasn’t the year I guess! Despite the setbacks, we are still doing great with what we have planted – I am super excited about all my radishes and I am going to pickle some of them today. We are also going to try our hand at baguettes (using sourdough since I can’t find yeast still!) and having our radish and butter sandwiches on baguettes, with radishes we have grown and bread we have baked. Simple but good, like my life lately.

We spend our evenings in the front yard, where we actually have some shade, all nestled on a blanket in front of the apple tree. We snack and chat and watch the birds flying about in the twilight. It’s a great way to wind up the evening before going in. We have been doing some read-alouds at night as well, poems from a book called A Poem for Every Night of the Year, and sometimes from Farmer Boy too.

Then this past weekend we took a spontaneous walk through the marsh. Most of our favorite hiking spots are now super crowded so when we go, we try to find some of the smaller, off the beaten trails. Sunday we headed out to one of the places we knew would be crowded, but we only planned on checking out the hive to look for bees, since we were starting bee week this week. Well, no bees, but we decided to wander down one of the less popular trails for a bit. It was such an impulse that kiddo didn’t even wear shoes, we didn’t have our hiking backpack – or sunblock, so it was a quick trip, mostly under the canopy of trees!

I am slowly learning how to live without a plan, something that is hard for me. But I am learning we don’t always need one.